The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Thursday it was taking its first steps to disburse more than $2.3 billion for carbon capture technology included in Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which the president signed in November, for carbon capture technology.
Carbon dioxide emissions are a result of burning fossil fuels and are a primary cause of anthropogenic climate change, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been trending steadily higher for the last 60 years.
Carbon capture technology aims to carbon dioxide at the point the emissions are being generated or from the atmosphere more broadly. The industry is still nascent, and critics say the better use of resources is to scale up clean energy infrastructures.
But Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thinks there’s room for both.
“Certainly our first preference is to make sure that we are powered by clean, zero carbon emitting energy. And we’re doing all of that. But you can walk and chew gum,” Granholm told CNBC in a video interview on Thursday. (She used the same metaphor at a conference earlier this year to describe the contradiction between pursuing green energy policies while asking oil and gas companies to up their production to counter rising prices at the pump.)
Granholm knows there’s skepticism about carbon capture technologies. Critics say that it’s mainly used by polluting industries as a way to delay the necessary work of reducing emissions.