When it comes to the Biden administration’s goals for reducing carbon emissions, both domestically and abroad, the targets have often looked more like dream scenarios than realistic ambitions. But in a surprisingly pragmatic move, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) just announced new funding to support carbon capture and storage. The release states that DOE will provide: 

up to $96 million in federal funding for projects that will develop point-source carbon capture technologies for natural gas power plant and industrial applications capable of capturing at least 95 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated.

“The recent development of next-generation carbon capture technologies, targeted to be commercially ready by 2025, has reduced the projected costs for carbon capture in power generation applications,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of FECM Dr. Jennifer Wilcox. “To meet the United States’ carbon management goals, it is critical to accelerate the demonstration of these technologies at existing industrial sites and power plants to prove commercial viability of carbon capture at higher capture efficiencies.”

If the Biden administration is serious about attaining its carbon-reduction goals, these projects will help them reduce emissions in a more realistic manner than embracing a renewables only approach to energy in the U.S. Incorporating carbon capture in natural gas plants and industrial settings will help to continue the carbon emission reductions that the U.S. has already achieved. 

The fracking boom of the early 2000s led to cheap, reliable energy for Americans as well as a large source of revenue for American producers. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has worked to cripple our domestic oil industry, in the name of combating climate change. Instead of decreasing our energy independence and increasing our reliance on foreign oil, the Biden administration should lean into American strengths and embrace the role of natural gas in our energy sector. By encouraging carbon capture projects in conjunction with natural gas energy production, we can produce low-carbon energy and encourage good-paying domestic jobs at American producers. 

We should applaud these efforts to clean up reliable energy sources and encourage further support of American innovators to find creative ways to reduce our emissions while maintaining reliable and affordable energy for Americans.