Texas appears to be the state best equipped to become the direct air capture (DAC) hub of the United States.
The state is ahead of most others on a number of counts, one of which is that it is the first to make DAC facilities economically feasible.
Texas is home to a whole group of major energy companies that are not only prepared to invest in the costly technology that is direct air capture, but they have already been doing so for years now.
Occidental Petroleum, for instance, just recently announced its plans to build a direct air capture facility to capture 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year and use the captured emissions for its enhanced oil recovery operations.
Oil and gas majors Chevron and Exxon are also busy working on DAC solutions to advance the novel technology.
This is of immense significance for the future development of these emerging technologies, as huge investments will be required to scale them to the level necessary for having an impact on climate change.
From a geological standpoint, Texas also has an advantage, as a large portion of carbon-based EOR takes place in the Permian Basin, which offers plenty of opportunities to store CO2.
Hence, this alleviates the need to build expensive pipelines that would connect DAC plants to CO2 storage sites.
Furthermore, direct air capture is energy intensive on its own. And in order for it to not beat its own purpose of reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, it needs to run on emission-free power.
Yet again, Texas wins this race, as the state is the single largest wind power producer in all of the US.
And last but not least, the Lone Star State is hard at work crafting carbon capture and sequestration rules with the aim of having local oil and gas regulators get the federal government’s approval to oversee permanent CO2 storage in Texas.