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Controversial carbon removal technology just got $1.2 billion from the Biden administration

A row of five shovels standing up behind signs with logos for Occidental Petroleum and 1PointFive. Construction equipment can be seen in the background.
Shovels during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Occidental Petroleum and 1PointFive Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant in Ector County, Texas, on Friday, April 28th, 2023.  | Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Energy chose the first two locations for “hubs” it envisions for industrial plants that suck planet-heating carbon dioxide out of the air. Projects in Texas and Louisiana will receive up to $1.2 billion from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop direct air capture (DAC) facilities, backing a purported climate solution that not all environmental advocates support.

The Biden administration is funneling billions into direct air capture, a relatively new technology that some governments and companies are beginning to turn to as a way to address pollution they’ve already emitted. This is the first round of funding in a bigger plan to dole out $3.5 billion to develop at least four DAC hubs across the US.

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