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Direct Air Capture Facilities and Production of Carbon-Neutral Hydrocarbons

May 2021

Citation: ELR 10390

Author: Neil Segel

The United States has introduced increasingly stronger measures to incentivize production of low-carbon synthetic fuels and to provide tax credits for carbon-dioxide utilization from direct air capture (DAC) projects. While this federal action has made substantial progress, it has not adequately kept pace with developments in carbon capture and sequestration and DAC technologies that produce low-carbon synthetic fuels. This Article aims to provide guidance on how the federal regulatory framework can draw level to the technological advancements, and proposes changes in two areas. First, it recommends that federal agencies amend existing regulations and guidelines to provide stronger monetary incentives for DAC projects. Second, it recommends modifying key legislation to allow the government to approve broader fuel pathways. These adaptations will allow for a smoother and more expedient transition to a lower-carbon future.

Neil Segel is a J.D. candidate at the University of Houston Law Center.

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