Today, the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization Deputy Executive Director, Briggs White, Ph.D., joined a panel on energy jobs at the Regional Carbon Management Applicant Education Workshop in Columbus, OH.
This workshop was the first of three in-person regional workshops hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) and the United States Energy Association (USEA). These workshops support the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and target potential applicants interested in developing commercial-scale storage facilities, point-source CO2 capture demonstration projects, direct air capture hubs, hydrogen production hubs with carbon capture and storage (CCS), carbon utilization, and CO2 transport.
“This is such an exciting time to be working in the field of carbon management. As the climate crisis worsens, the need for solutions across the board – including carbon capture technologies – is only growing. And with a massive infusion of funding from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on the way, there are significant opportunities for those of you working on any aspect of carbon management,” said White.
Alongside his fellow panelists, White discussed the economic and job opportunities possible with carbon capture, storage, and maintenance projects, particularly for traditional energy workers. He emphasized funding is abundant across the federal government, including in the BIL, that supports such projects.
“As you know well, there are several exciting applications for carbon capture and storage systems: existing and new power and industrial plants and – looking ahead – clean hydrogen hubs, direct air capture hubs, and carbon utilization. In some cases, CCS might help retain some energy worker jobs and hold up the tax base, or those same workers could support clean hydrogen jobs if those fossil-based projects are leveraging CCS. And, of course, large CCS projects mean large construction jobs in those very same energy communities.”
Other presenters addressed various components of large-scale projects, including the capture of CO2 from point sources and the atmosphere; commercial storage and transport of carbon dioxide; developing teams for integrated projects; DOE procurement requirements and processes; NEPA requirements and processes; lessons learned from past demonstration projects; alternate opportunities for carbon management; environmental justice and community engagement requirements; energy jobs; regulatory requirements; and land and pore space access opportunities.
FECM funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use. Priority areas of technology work include point-source carbon capture, hydrogen with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, critical mineral production and carbon dioxide removal.
USEA is a nonprofit, apolitical, nonlobbying organization founded in 1924. USEA’s mission has two pillars of equal importance. USEA serves as a resource by convening energy stakeholders to share policy, scientific, and technological information to foster the advancement of the entire energy sector. Internationally, USEA promotes energy development by expanding access to safe, affordable, sustainable, and environmentally acceptable energy in partnership with the U.S. government.
Established by an Executive Order during President Biden’s first week in office, the IWG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to create good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities across the country as the U.S. prepares to undergo a historic energy evolution to a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.