The Biden administration is making new investments in carbon capture and storage, in hopes of reducing pollution from power plants and heavy industry.
$251 million will fund 12 projects across seven states. Several universities will benefit, as will oil company BP, which will get more than $33 million for two sites on the Texas coast.
Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, involves collecting carbon dioxide that's released into the air — either directly from industrial sources as it's emitted, or filtered out of the wider atmosphere. It can then be pumped deep underground for storage, or used in other industrial processes.
But CCS faces significant scale challenges. Most of the money in the latest round of investment will support projects that together would be able to store 50 million tons of CO2 — about nine-tenths of one percent of all the CO2 the U.S. released in 2021.
SEE MORE: US greenhouse pollution climbed in 2021, thanks to fossil fuel use
The direct investment is the latest in the administration's effort to help a new industry get out of the lab and into the field. The funding will go in part toward studying methods of transporting captured carbon, to make the technology a more justifiable investment.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is pursuing other ways to prompt the adoption of CCS.
New rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would hold fossil fuel power plants to stricter emissions standards. The agency anticipates that plants will choose to adopt carbon capture tools to meet the new goals.
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