Governors Polis and Gordon discuss carbon removal technologies at Decarbonizing the West Workshop

WGA News

In just a few years, carbon removal technology went from a provocative idea to a legitimate piece of the decarbonization puzzle with the potential to remove gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The third workshop of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s Decarbonizing the West initiative convened carbon removal experts from around the region to examine the advancement of direct air capture and discuss opportunities for further accelerating its development.

“Here in Colorado, we're making bold progress towards achieving our renewable energy goals and we know that carbon management will be an important tool for our state,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the host of the workshop, told the crowd at the Art Hotel in Denver, Colorado. “Western states are uniquely positioned to support the development of direct air capture. Abundant renewable energy resources, favorable geology for storage, supportive policies, and leadership really make it possible for the West to lead the nation and even the world in carbon removal.” 

At this point, many of the panelists said the future of carbon removal technology is more dependent on developing good policy and regulatory frameworks for siting and developing projects than technological innovation.

“I think one of the big challenges with regional efforts is who's the consumer, who's the producer, and how do you balance that in a policy framework? How do you socialize the cost of things that you need to do? And how do we value carbon itself?” Governor Gordon asked the panel he moderated. “I think if we're going to move forward, we're going to have to build that framework across states.”

Many panelists echoed this sentiment when discussing the need to build out carbon transportation and storage infrastructure and emphasized the importance of community engagement and education.     

“The key determinant of how much CCS we get to do in America hinges entirely on community and social acceptance,” Ashleigh Ross, the Vice President and Head of Commercial Development and Policy at Carbon America said.

Watch any of the panels from the Denver Workshop, or any other Decarbonizing the West workshop, on WGA’s YouTube channel.

You can also register for the fourth and final workshop of Governor Gordon’s WGA Chair Initiative, which will be held in Portland Oregon on March 11 and 12. It will focus on forest and on-farm management practices, coastal ecosystem resilience, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), and novel approaches to carbon storage and utilization. 

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