US To Fund a $1.2 Billion Effort To Vacuum Greenhouse Gases From the Sky – Slashdot

US To Fund a $1.2 Billion Effort To Vacuum Greenhouse Gases From the Sky – Slashdot

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from the moving-forward dept.

The Biden administration will spend $1.2 billion to help build the nation’s first two commercial-scale plants to vacuum carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere, a nascent technology that some scientists say could be a breakthrough in the fight against global warming, but that others fear is an extravagant boondoggle. From a report: Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, announced Friday that her agency would fund two pilot projects that would deploy the disputed technology, known as direct air capture. Occidental Petroleum will build one of the plants in Kleberg County, Texas, and Battelle, a nonprofit research organization, will build the other in Calcasieu Parish on the Louisiana coast. The federal government and the companies will equally split the cost of building the facilities.

“These projects are going to help us prove out the potential of these next-generation technologies so that we can add them to our climate crisis fighting arsenal, and one of those technologies includes direct air capture, which is essentially giant vacuums that can suck decades of old carbon pollution straight out of the sky,” Ms. Granholm said on a telephone call with reporters on Thursday. The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law included $3.5 billion to fund the construction of four commercial-scale direct air capture plants. Friday’s announcement covered the first two. Oil and gas companies lobbied for the direct air capture money to be included in the law, arguing that the world could continue to burn fossil fuels if it had a way to clean up their planet-warming pollution.

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