At a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors from around the country, the President announced he has issued a Presidential Memorandum creating an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to develop a comprehensive and coordinated federal strategy to speed the development and deployment of clean coal technologies.
During the meeting the President focused on three measures to boost biofuels production and reduce dependence on foreign oil. First, EPA has issued a final rule to implement the renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022. Also, USDA has proposed a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that would provide financing to increase the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. And the President's Biofuels Interagency Working Group has released its first report which lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry.
The new Task Force will be chaired by representatives of from DOE and EPA and include participants from at least nine different agencies and offices. The Presidential memorandum directs the Task Force to develop within 180 days a plan to overcome the barriers to the deployment of widespread affordable carbon capture and storage within 10 years, with a goal of bringing five to ten commercial demonstration projects on line by 2016.
The plan should address incentives for CCS adoption and any financial, economic, technological, legal, institutional, or other barriers to deployment. According to the memorandum, the Task Force should consider how best to coordinate existing federal authorities and programs, as well as identify areas where additional federal authority may be necessary. The Task Force is to report progress periodically to the President, through the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.