In late 2021, Congress made a down payment on early direct air capture (DAC) projects with the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provided $3.5 billion in funding over five years to build DAC facilities through the Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program (DAC Hubs program). As the first large-scale US deployments of DAC, these hubs are an opportunity to define the field with high-quality projects that create robust environmental and public health benefits, new jobs and economic opportunities, and broad community support.

What the US Department of Energy does with this funding will determine if the DAC Hubs program could kickstart the field at large, with enormous implications for the technology’s legitimacy, climate impact, and potential community benefits. If deployed well, DAC hubs can demonstrate a transition strategy for fossil fuels, a community-led effort, and a carbon-negative climate solution.

To that end, we’ve prepared a white paper, Setting DAC on Track: Strategies for Hub Implementation, that outlines four overarching recommendations for just and effective implementation. This paper expands upon our public comments on hub implementation, with guidelines for optimizing program design, reinforcing regulation, centering environmental justice, and building the carbon management workforce.

Read more in the full report.

Edited by Tracy Yu. Cover image by Daniel McCullough.