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Direct Air Capture Brief: Legacy Fossil Communities to Play Opportune Role in Net Zero Future


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The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a brief providing new insights into the potential for significant regional opportunity in the future of direct air capture. Following a local stakeholder roundtable in Wyoming this summer, C2ES found the state is poised to be a leader in the development and deployment of engineered carbon dioxide removal technologies, and specifically direct air capture (DAC), given its existing energy expertise, favorable regulatory environment, and geology conducive to permanent sequestration. Key findings included:

  • Broad excitement about carbon management opportunities exists among businesses, labor, local government, and tribal leaders in Wyoming.
  • Clearer regulatory and governing rules are needed for the state to properly monetize its sequestration potential.
  • Access to low-carbon energy is a major hurdle to scaling DAC technology. DAC developers need state-level, federal-level, and private sector support to build out large-scale renewables or support carbon capture and storage at existing fossil-based power plants.
  • Early, transparent, and consistent community engagement is essential. More community education about what DAC is and the potential benefits and risks of deploying it is needed.

“DAC has a bright future in Wyoming, and this C2ES roundtable emphasized that the state is on its way to becoming a hub of DAC industry,” said Matt Bright, Director of External Affairs of CarbonCapture Inc.

“Direct Air Capture will play a key role in stabilizing our climate, and addressing the hardest to eliminate emissions remaining in our economy at mid-century,” said Stephanie Gagnon, Manager for Regional Programs at C2ES. “With the right supporting policy at the federal and state levels, Wyoming can be well-positioned to lead the nation in this growing industry, while investing in local workers and communities.”

C2ES’s regional roundtables bring together local, state, and federal policymakers; businesses of all sizes; community organizations and others. These conversations are meant to elevate the perspectives of a diverse set of stakeholders who are deeply embedded in their communities and uniquely positioned to speak to the needs of their states and regions.

Read the full briefing here and the fact sheet here. More information about our regional roundtables can be found on C2ES’s website.

The Net-Zero Pathways Initiative advances our work with leading companies since 2018 to identify and advocate for policies that can accelerate the transition to a thriving, just and equitable net-zero emissions economy. We engage more than four dozen leading companies across the economy. Sectors include power, transportation, finance, tech, oil and gas, chemicals, cement, manufacturing, and food/agriculture.

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