Last week, Carbon180 Executive Director Erin Burns brought her carbon removal expertise to the Hill and testified in front of the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the opportunities and challenges related facing direct air capture (DAC) today.

DAC can play an essential role in meeting climate goals through addressing legacy emissions, and can also bring enormous benefits beyond climate. Erin identified an opportunity for continued US leadership on DAC that spans de-risking new tech and supporting climate justice as well as the potential for DAC to create regional benefits like new jobs and businesses.

And the barriers facing DAC? Reliable demand signals, secure geologic storage, rigorous monitoring, reporting, and verification, transparent information sharing, and more clean energy.

“If deployed responsibly alongside deep cuts to new emissions, carbon removal can be a wellspring of new economic and environmental prosperity for communities. Poised to become a trillion-dollar industry, carbon removal could be a rising tide that lifts all boats — creating high-quality jobs, establishing carbon-negative industries, and activating new sources of revenue for US businesses and communities.”

Erin Burns, Carbon180 Executive Director

To access benefits and address barriers, Erin highlighted six policy recommendations in her testimony:

  1. Continue and increase research & development;
  2. Build out domestic infrastructure and supply chains;
  3. Develop the carbon management workforce;
  4. Prioritize transparent and accessible information;
  5. Leverage federal purchasing of carbon removal; and
  6. Use the DAC Hubs program to set a foundation for an equitable, just, and thriving US DAC industry.

Read Erin’s full testimony right here.

Edited by Emily Reich. Image by Ian Hutchinson.