Carbon capture project coming


A carbon removal project south of Corpus Christi is one of two sites selected by the Department of Energy to receive up to $1.2 billion to support the development of direct air capture technology.

The project, which is being developed by Houston-based oil company Occidental Petroleum, is set on more than 100,000 acres on the famed King Ranch in South Texas and is designed to eventually remove up to 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

“Essentially these are giant vacuums that can suck decades of old carbon pollution right out of the sky,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. “If we deploy that at scale, this technology can help us make serious headway toward our net-zero emissions goals, while we are focused on deploying, deploying, deploying more clean energy at the same time.”

The department also selected a project in southwest Louisiana being developed by Battelle, a nonprofit technology firm from Ohio. Both projects are slated to initially capture and permanently store up to 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

The Biden administration, along with the United Nations, has identified carbon removal technologies as critical to get global greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by mid-century to avoid the more severe consequences of climate change. Under last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, companies can earn $180 in tax credits for every ton of carbon they remove directly from the atmosphere.

Direct air capture is being looked at by Occidental and other oil companies as part of a larger carbon management strategy designed to offset emissions from oil and gas production. Last year Occidental began construction in West Texas on its first direct air capture facility, with a capacity of 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year — half of what is initially planned at the South Texas project.

This is from a few weeks ago, and I’m publishing it now because it was mentioned in passing in that hydrogen hub story. I know there’s skepticism about carbon capture, mostly on the very rational belief that it will be used as a justification to keep using fossil fuels well beyond any stated or implied endpoint. I get that, and I don’t intend to argue against it. I just think that we’re going to need to pull out all the stops to mitigate the effects of climate change, and that longer term we need to try to undo some of those effects. I see carbon capture as the best way to achieve that. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, and maybe carbon capture will enable continued bad habits. I think it’s a risk worth taking, and as long as we’re pursuing that we may as well be doing it here, for the same reason as pursuing hydrogen projects here: We’re already an energy city, we have the expertise, and if this is going to be a technology for the future, we should want to be a part of it.

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2 Responses to Carbon capture project coming

  1. David Fagan says:

    Take away every governmental monetary incentive and allow all goods and services cost the actual price it takes to get it in your hands. That would bring a drastic change, what that would be? Idk.

  2. J says:

    I am not an expert, but I can see that most things which are for sale are derived from extractive industries, which take the good stuff they dig or drill for and and dump the bad or worthless stuff into the environment. So private gains with a hidden cost to the public from the disposal. Because of these hidden costs the market price does not reflect the true cost to society from these products. For carbon there is an additional cost from the use of the product, excess carbon dioxide that is now creating weather havoc. We are now paying some of this cost in the form of higher prices for food and insurance due to weather related natural disasters. Air pollution, the greatest worldwide killer and the reason for much medical debt, is another example of a cost to people that is not reflected in the market price of goods.

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