In a bill signed into law on February 9, Congress expanded a tax incentive program responsible for more than a billion dollars in tax credits awarded to oil companies for burying carbon dioxide underground. Both environmental and industry groups support the move which encourages emitters of carbon dioxide, such as power plants, ethanol factories, steel mills, and refineries, to capture their CO2 emissions and bury them underground for storage, or pump them underground to help oil companies extract more crude from aging reservoirs. The credit allowed for captured carbon dioxide was worth as much as $20 per ton and was set to expire after $75,000,000. As of May 10, 2017, credits for some 52.8 million tons have been claimed. Under the new law, companies now will have 12 years to claim a $50 credit for every ton of carbon dioxide that is buried below the earth surface and $35 for every ton pumped underground to help oil companies extract crude. To qualify, companies must start building carbon-capturing projects within seven years, and there is no cap on the number of available credits.
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