Can we vacuum greenhouse gases from the atmosphere?

The Biden administration plans to allocate $1.2 billion to construct the first two commercial-scale carbon dioxide vacuuming plants, aiming to combat global warming. This technology shows promise for some scientists, but skeptics view it as wasteful spending.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm revealed plans to finance two pilot projects for direct air capture technology. Occidental Petroleum will construct a plant in Kleberg County, Texas, while Battelle, a nonprofit research organization, will build another in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The government and companies will share the construction costs equally

The projects aim to demonstrate the potential of advanced technologies in the fight against climate change. This technology involves large-scale devices that can remove carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm explained that these projects are part of efforts to combat the climate crisis. The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law allocated $3.5 billion for constructing four commercial-scale direct air capture plants, with the recent announcement covering the initial two projects. Oil and gas companies advocated for this funding, suggesting that it could allow continued fossil fuel use while addressing the emissions issue.