Senate Hears from Wyoming Experts on Carbon Capture Technologies

April 22, 2021

Click here to watch Begger’s testimony.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), welcomed Jason Begger, managing director of the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, and Randy Atkins, chief executive officer of Ramaco Carbon, to the committee. Begger and Atkins were testifying before the committee at a hearing on the opportunities and challenges that exist for advancing and deploying carbon and carbon-dioxide (CO2) utilization technologies in the United States.

Click here to watch Atkins’s testimony.

Barrasso introduced Begger and Atkins to the committee prior to their testimonies. “Before we begin, I would like to welcome Jason Begger, the Managing Director of Wyoming’s Integrated Test Center. Jason has testified before the Senate several times, including at the field hearing at our Integrated Test Center last summer in Gillette.

“I would also like to welcome Randy Atkins, CEO of Ramaco Coal. Randy is establishing a coal-to-products research facility in Sheridan, Wyoming,” said Barrasso.

In his written testimony, Begger highlighted the work the Wyoming Integrated Test Center is already doing to both capture and store CO2. “CO2 management requires both the capture of CO2 and then permanently doing something with it to ensure it is not released into the atmosphere. The ITC is unique in that it has hosted both types of technologies. While work still needs to be done developing and commercializing capture technologies, we have seen commercial carbon capture projects on an array of industrial facilities across the globe. Today’s commercial project largely utilize solvent technologies. Over the next few years, the ITC will be hosting research teams testing newer capture technologies such as dry sorbents and membranes with the goal of reducing capital construction and operational costs,” wrote Begger

Begger discussed the endless opportunities for CO2 to be transformed into everyday products. “CO2 is a very simple molecule, consisting of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. The array of products that can be created from oxygen and carbon is almost limitless. Fuels, plastics, building materials and carbonates are all examples,” said Begger.

Begger also outlined why Wyoming is the ideal place for carbon capture research. “Wyoming is the perfect place to conduct CCUS research. We have facilities, we have agencies with expertise in regulating CO2 and a ‘get to yes’ attitude towards permitting, we have a legislature and governor supportive of technology development and lastly, we have public support for these types of projects,” stated Begger.

In his written testimony, Atkins stressed the need for America to embrace its carbon resources. “The United States possesses the world’s largest and cheapest carbon reserves. It needs to capitalize on that advantage,” wrote Atkins.

For more information on Begger’s and Atkins’s testimonies and the hearing, click here.