By the Gillette News Record staff
Via- Wyoming News Exchange
GILLETTE — This week, Wyoming and Colorado signed an agreement regarding direct air capture activity and development.
The bipartisan interstate agreement will focus on the direct air capture industry’s potential to complement existing and emerging industries and jobs and economic development in both states while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Direct air capture is a method of carbon dioxide removal in which CO2 is removed from the air and then sequestered and stored to produce high-quality carbon removal credits or used for industrial applications, such as enhanced oil recovery or as a chemical feedstock for other products.
“Wyoming is a longtime leader in carbon management practices and policy,” Gordon said in a press release. “We believe direct air capture could complement efforts for point-source carbon capture and the related infrastructure. Colorado and Wyoming each have pieces of the puzzle necessary to develop a carbon removal market and industry.”
The two states together have the combination of people, infrastructure, regulations and markets needed “to accelerate the development of the industry,” Gordon said.
“This exciting bipartisan partnership builds upon our nation-leading work in Colorado to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040 while adding good-paying jobs,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in the press release. “I am proud to partner with Gov. Gordon on this innovative work that benefits both Colorado and Wyoming as we continue to find creative ideas and common-sense solutions in the fight for clean air that won’t just benefit Colorado and Wyoming, but the entire world.”
The federal government has established several significant incentives and competitive grant opportunities to test and scale direct air capture technologies and projects.
The agreement outlines the partnership between the states through potential collaborations such as applying for grants, identifying necessary infrastructure, defining carbon removal measurement standards, analyzing markets and their growth opportunities, developing a commercialization pipeline for new technologies and ensuring that local, tribal, and state stakeholders are empowered participants in shaping the future of this innovative technology and its significant economic opportunity.
The MOU highlights the combined assets, infrastructure, policy, markets, resources and geology that make the region a strong contender for developing a direct air capture industry.
Wyoming’s carbon capture, use and sequestration, or CCUS, assets includes permanent geologic storage, as well as existing infrastructure, manufacturing and energy workforce. Colorado has been developing a policy environment to evaluate the regulatory, economic, technological, and research opportunities in the carbon dioxide removal and direct air capture area and is home to the world’s second-largest operating direct air capture facility.
This agreement builds on further regional collaboration between Wyoming and Colorado with Utah and New Mexico to develop the Western Interstates Hydrogen Hub, which will mobilize billions of dollars of investment in clean hydrogen infrastructure, another emerging technology to reduce pollution and continue the West’s leadership on global energy solutions, according to the press release.