New rules for how to regulate carbon emissions and use water will be introduced on Thursday in the Senate, the first time the legislation will be brought up for debate.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the bill, called the Carbon Reduction and Storage Act, to give lawmakers a chance to review it and the rules it would change.
The bill, which will likely face stiff opposition, has been in the works for years but never came to the floor of Congress.
The legislation would require companies to use carbon-capture technology to capture and store carbon dioxide in natural gas, oil and coal.
It would also require companies that use carbon capture to post a bond to cover the cost of the technology.
Critics say the rules would hurt small businesses and consumers, and would also be unenforceable, since the companies would have to provide the same financial guarantees that big companies provide.
Supporters say the bill will make carbon capture technology more efficient and that companies can sell carbon capture technologies at lower prices.
Under the bill’s carbon capture rules, companies would be required to store carbon for five years, instead of six.
Companies would also have to post bond statements to help cover the costs of the carbon capture process.
Carbon capture technology is expected to be more efficient because it’s cheaper to capture carbon dioxide than to burn it, the bill says.
A proposal to repeal old laws, such as the Clean Air Act, has also been debated for years.
If enacted, the legislation would also apply to existing coal-fired power plants, as well as to new plants that produce electricity from natural gas.
House Democrats have criticized the bill for being too broad, with some saying it doesn’t go far enough to protect the environment and people.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the bill could face opposition from some Republicans, and that it should be taken up by a conference committee with more details.