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Federal Government to Spend $1.2B in Louisiana, Texas on Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs

By Victor Skinner

(The Center Square) — The U.S. Department of Energy will spend $1.2 billion in Louisiana and Texas to create Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs, an effort expected to create 2,300 jobs in the Pelican State.

Project Cypress, to be located in Calcasieu Parish, will work in coordination with Climeworks Corporation and Heirloom Carbon Technologies to remove more than 1 million metric tons of existing CO2 from the atmosphere each year and store it underground.

The project would be one of two initial commercial-scale sites that the Biden administration wants to grow into a nationwide network of direct air capture facilities to address legacy pollution. The second site, the South Texas DAC Hub, is slated for Kleberg County.

The $1.2 billion in federal funding for the projects represents the largest investment in engineered carbon removal to date, with each hub expected to remove more than 250 times more carbon dioxide than the largest facility currently in operation, according to the Department of Energy.

In total, both projects are expected to remove 2 million metric tons of CO2, equivalent to the annual emissions of roughly 450,000 gasoline vehicles. The DOE cites estimates that the Biden administration’s plan to reach net-zero emissions will require between 400 million and 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2 removed from the atmosphere annually by 2050.

“Cutting back on our carbon emissions alone won’t reverse the growing impacts of climate change; we also need to remove the CO2 that we’ve already put in the atmosphere—which nearly every climate model makes clear is essential to achieving a net-zero global economy by 2050,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

Gov. John Bel Edwards contends the state’s “talented energy workforce and embrace of lower carbon technologies make us the perfect fit for innovative projects like this Direct Air Capture Hub.”

“Louisiana’s climate action plan has positioned us as a leader in the global energy transition, and this major announcement will create thousands of good-paying jobs while lowering the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he said.

The announcement comes as 39 Republican senators including Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy have signed on to a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan to spell out their objections to Clean Power Plan 2.0 proposed in May to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants for the first time.

The letter says the plan violates the Clean Air Act by imposing carbon capture technologies that have not been “adequately demonstrated,” and would require fuel switching in conflict with the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA.

That ruling struck down the initial Clean Power Plan, pushed by the Obama administration in 2015, to set limits on carbon from power plants, finding the EPA lacked authority to implement the plan without congressional approval.

The proposed Clean Power Plan 2.0 would require coal and natural gas plants to “co-fire” with 30% clean hydrogen in 2032 and ramp up to 96% by 2038, and to operate carbon capture technology with a 90% carbon dioxide capture rate by 2030.

“This proposed rule will drastically increase costs and reduce electricity supplies,” senators wrote. “These effects will not only be borne by the regulated community, but by every American, manufacturer, and small business that relies on the electricity grid.”

The plan, coupled with the EPA’s Electric Generating Unit Strategy, is “a way to shutter fossil-fuel power plants and bolster President Biden’s climate goals,” senators wrote.

Victor Skinner is a contributor to The Center Square

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

To read more about carbon capture, click here.

To read more about wasted money in government schemes, click here.

Victor Skinner
Victor Skinner
Victor Skinner is a contributor to The Center Square. 


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