President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda Funds Major Carbon Capture Projects

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the world today, with carbon dioxide pollution being one of the leading causes. To combat this problem, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has announced a $1.2 billion investment aimed at developing two commercial-scale direct air capture facilities in Texas and Louisiana. This is a significant milestone in the fight against carbon pollution since these projects, being the first of their size in the United States, will contribute to the nationwide network of large-scale carbon reduction sites, which will help combat climate change.

There was a very interesting debate about this on LinkedIn

I hate to share this, but doing so makes a very important point.

First, I encourage you to read Laszlo Varro‘s post and draw your own conclusions. You may find his comments more reasonable than I did.

Some of you still think that direct air capture (DAC) is just ahead of its time, necessary in the long term, and worth working on now- despite its Quixotic and pointless battle against thermodynamics that it will never, ever win.

You’re wrong. Dead wrong.

DAC is not just an energy destroying Rube Goldberg apparatus. It’s also a dangerous fossil fueled meme. And here we see a VP of Shell, which in MY reading of his comments (you should draw your own conclusions!) is warning us that attempting to relinquish the death grip that fossil fuels have on our energy system by making big bets on solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency, will require us to ask people to make sacrifices and change behavior in the name of avoiding climate change that are likely to lead to “a resurgence of right wing populism” (I read that as basically proto-fascism). So while wind and solar are a “major opportunity”, we’d better also bet PUBLIC MONEY on big vacuum cleaners to suck up our sins from the atmosphere instead (powered by what? In Carbon Engineering’s case, by fossil gas of course!)

Stop promoting this DAC horseshit please. Yeah, I know that IPCC models depend on us using carbon removal tech to get the excess CO2 back out of the atmosphere AFTER we’ve stopped adding more of it. They’re lying to you to give you the illusion that keeping to 2 degrees of warming is at all possible. That ship sailed decades ago.

There are carbon negative technologies, like biomass pyrolysis with biochar use in agriculture that do make some sense, but they’re always involved in making some other valuable product with capture being a byproduct. We can work on those, but we absolutely must not lose our focus: we need to end the burning of fossils as fuels. Nothing else will do the trick. Yes, that will shrink Shell’s business by nearly a factor of ten, so expecting Shell to be good with that is a poor bet. We do need to eliminate fossil burning- but not all at once, and we can’t let concern over how to do the very difficult and expensive last 5%, stop us from proceeding with haste on the easy 95%!!

The Biden administration’s commitment to the Regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hubs program in the infrastructure law represents the largest investment in engineered carbon removal in history.

This announcement is expected to stimulate significant activities in direct air capture and help accelerate decarbonization efforts in the United States and beyond. Direct air capture technology, known as DAC, is a process that captures carbon dioxide directly from the air. The technology can be used to significantly reduce carbon pollution in the atmosphere and contribute to the decarbonization of the economy.

The selection of Texas and Louisiana as the first two sites for the commercial-scale direct air capture facilities is strategic since carbon pollution is highest in these areas. The hubs, according to the DOE, will ensure meaningful community and labor engagement and contribute to the President’s Justice40 Initiative.

This is essential to ensure that the projects are not only ethical but also beneficial to the economy. Together, the two projects are expected to create 4,800 well-paying jobs in the two states, playing a major role in reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

The carbon removal capacity of the two hubs is expected to be significant, with participants projecting that it will remove over 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year. This equates to the carbon dioxide emitted by approximately 445,000 gasoline-powered cars every year. The two hubs’ combined carbon capture capabilities will be more than 250 times greater than the largest DAC facility currently in operation. This is an incredible step forward in the effort to decarbonize the economy.

Another critical factor in this development is the impact on the global environment. With the world already experiencing the devastating impact of climate change, the direct air capture facilities are crucial in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is one of the most significant contributors to climate change and has already caused considerable damage, such as melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and increased temperatures.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s announcement to fund commercial-scale direct air capture facilities in Texas and Louisiana is a significant stride in the fight against carbon pollution and climate change. It represents another significant step in President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which aims to address legacies of carbon dioxide pollution and complement rapid emissions reductions. The two DAC facilities are expected to create well-paying jobs and remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This initiative is especially important as the United States strives to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change while fostering economic development.