Legislative Issue: Energy Policy

IT SHOULD COME as no surprise that energy is an important issue for Boilermakers. As environmental concerns grow, so too grows a misguided movement to focus solely on renewable energy—which is not only not a feasible solution to mitigate climate change but also seeks to halt work many Boilermakers depend on in the fossil fuel industry. While opposing resolutions like the Green New Deal, it is imperative for Boilermakers to champion the solutions that do work to mitigate climate change—while preserving jobs and the economy—such as carbon capture, use and storage.

America can create solid jobs by investing in a clean energy future, growing high-quality jobs that put Americans to work while also reducing our dependence on imported energy and protecting the environment from the risks of climate change. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers supports an “all of the above” energy policy, but it must include advanced carbon-reducing technologies as part of the nation’s emerging policy framework, as well as a mix of renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels and hydro power. It is imperative that regulations established to address climate change and other environmental concerns do not have the unintended consequences of prohibiting the construction of new, state-of-the-art fossil fuel generating capacity or contribute to job losses across the broad range of construction, manufacturing and transportation sectors.

CCUS technology will ensure responsible use of America’s fossil energy resources. The deployment of CCUS will create millions of good paying jobs for Boilermakers and other union craftspeople, while ensuring a future for affordable, reliable energy from coal. Fossil fuel power generation remains among the most labor-intensive energy technologies, supporting good jobs in construction, mining, transportation and other sectors. The U.S. must also invest in workforce development to provide the training and skills necessary to deploy new low-carbon energy technology.

In addition, CCUS is the only solution to decarbonize the industrial sector—including cement, refineries and others where many Boilermakers work—and will be vital to the future of those industries as well.

Boilermakers applaud Congress for enacting S. 1535, the FUTURE Act, as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The FUTURE Act strengthened and expanded the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon sequestration, which will be a useful tool for project developers to finance CCUS projects. The nation now awaits full guidance on and implementation of 45Q to realize an increase in those projects.

Key Boilermakers Messages to Senators and Representatives:

  • Support increased funding for all fossil energy research and development programs, including carbon capture and carbon utilization and storage programs.
  • Support increased funding beyond basic research and development of these technologies.

CCS: Bridge to a Cleaner Energy Future

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 LEAP Conference, video brochures containing the film “CCS: Bridge to a Cleaner Energy Future” are available for Boilermakers to give to state and Federal policy makers or other key influencers. The brochures are self-contained and self-playing devices, about the size, shape and weight of a small hard-bound book. In addition to the video, which plays when the cover is opened, the brochure contains information about CCUS. If you are planning to meet with a state or Federal legislator or other key influencer in the energy industry to talk about CCUS and would like a quantity of the video brochures, please contact Director of Communications Amy Wiser at awiser@boilermakers.org.