In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) May 2021


Our new Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff are both very knowledgeable about carbon mitigation and removal technologies, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) and direct air capture (DAC), important pathways to address climate change and help the United States reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Dr. Wilcox virtually attended six events in recent weeks: the IEAGHGT-15 Virtual Conference, the UK Science Museum Group Climate Talks, the GEI EnergyInnovates Event Series, the National Coal Council Spring Annual Meeting, a webinar on the Role of Carbon Capture and Removal Technologies to Reach Net-Zero Emissions and the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium. Dr. Wilcox urged increasing the use of CCS technology to combat climate change. If CCS is utilized strategically, the U.S. can make a successful transition to net-zero emissions. Developing CCS will bring better-quality jobs and economic benefits that exceed the costs of the technology.

“We are absolutely focusing on some of the tough-to- decarbonize sectors,” said Dr. Wilcox during the UK Science Museum Group Climate Talk. “If we can avoid the carbon emissions to begin with, we should always focus on doing that. Our next effort is looking at the cement, steel and industrial sectors and seeing how we can avoid those emissions.” Over the past year, FE has started to fund projects focusing on carbon removal – specifically direct air capture (DAC) using chemicals and mineralization.

During Dr. Wilcox’s keynote address at the National Coal Council Spring Annual Meeting, she highlighted FE’s recently announced FOA for the creation of products using waste coal as a feedstock. The use of coal waste in additive manufacturing and graphite production aligns with the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration, to expand and develop existing and new environmentally stable uses for coal waste and deploying these technologies in economically distressed power plant and coal communities,” said Dr. Wilcox. This proposed technology will mitigate the environmental impacts associated with the use of coal.

On April 30, Dr. Wilcox spoke at a webinar hosted by the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC). Her topic was The Role of Carbon Capture and Removal Technologies to Reach Net-Zero Emissions. The webinar participants discussed the technologies and policies available for carbon capture removal.

Dr. Wilcox provided opening remarks, detailing the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals for capturing carbon emissions from natural gas plants and industrial manufacturing facilities, and noting that the Office of Fossil Energy’s work will help address climate change and reduce emissions. “In President Biden’s words, we have an opportunity to build back better – to build and deploy these important technologies,” said Dr. Wilcox. “Carbon capture on committed emissions infrastructure like natural gas fired power plants that likely won’t reach retirement age for another decade or two may be good candidates for CCUS – so we’re exploring the deployment of these technologies on natural gas systems, in particular.”