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Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: the Climate Crisis has weak carbon markets and lagging technology

30 min read

The sparse number of actual carbon capture and sequestration projects plus weak carbon markets amplify the problems of the climate crisis yet to be revisited, post-Trump. Two heartland examples in North Dakota and Texas show how there are several interlocking problems addressing the climate crisis that must be included in future environmental policy.

More specifically new policies should reach beyond the Green New Deal to emphasize:

  • developing a national industrial policy that addresses the vulnerability of the national grid,
  • redefining commons policy that prioritizes democratic norms over property,
  • considering degrowth policies that constrain and reregulate markets, and
  • implementing land use policies that reverse the ecocidal destruction of environments

The two power plant examples that have come forward are the closing of the Coal Creek Station in North Dakota and the Petra Nova gas plant, which as carbon capture projects have now been designated for deactivation. In both cases the potential for modeling Negative Emissions Technologies (NET) has been sidelined by capitalist imperatives. More surprising is how few projects are actually in operation, only to be suspended.

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Built in the late 1970s, Coal Creek Station is North Dakota’s largest power plant. Coal Creek Station is a mine-mouth plant using lignite, uses a 436 mile DC transmission line to Minnesota, 

Two counties in the state of North Dakota have enacted drastic restrictions on new wind projects in an attempt to save coal mining jobs, despite protests from landowners who'd like to rent their land to wind energy companies. It's a sign of how difficult that transition can be for communities that depend on coal for jobs and tax revenue. The economic benefits of wind power, even though substantial, often flow to different people.

The dispute erupted last year when Great River Energy, a rural electric cooperative based in Minnesota, announced that it planned to sell its Coal Creek Station, north of Bismarck, ND. If no buyer showed up, the company said it would shut the plant down in 2022. A coal mine that supplies the plant with fuel also would have to close. Roughly a thousand jobs would disappear.

[…]

image_asset_882691.png
The route of a high-voltage, direct current transmission line that stretches from the Coal Creek plant in North Dakota to the Twin Cities suburbs. Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News

The opportunity lay in a high-capacity transmission line that runs all the way from Coal Creek Station to Minneapolis. Closing Coal Creek would free up that line, sweeping aside one of the key roadblocks that have slowed the growth of wind energy in North Dakota.

“It's no secret that one of the barriers to development is a lack of transmission capacity to move the wind- or solar-produced electricity from where it's produced to where it needs to be used,” Soholt says.

Great River Energy, in fact, wanted to build huge wind farms around Coal Creek — a combined generating capacity of 800 megawatts — to take advantage of that transmission line.

[…]

Two counties next to Coal Creek Station moved quickly to keep wind companies from getting access to the line. McClean County adopted new rules that allowed the county to deny permits for feeder lines from new wind farms. Mercer County, next door, passed a two-year moratorium on new wind projects.

The new rules had a quick effect. Great River Energy dropped its plans for wind farms in North Dakota, and moved instead to build them in Minnesota, where wind power could take advantage of another set of transmission lines, which currently carry power from gas-burning plants.

But the county's efforts to shut down wind development provoked heated dissent from landowners who'd hoped to rent some of their land for wind energy development.

[…]

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In 2009 they added a facility that uses waste heat to dry the lignite. This process also removes some of the impurities from the lignite creating a product they call DryFine. They burn this in their own two 550 Mw boilers and also ship it in covered hoppers to another combined heat and power plant. Waste heat is also used to dry corn from the fall harvest so that it can be stored in bins. Commercial grain elevators generally burn a lot of natural gas to dry grain for storage. Farmers generally burn propane in their grain dryers.
Coal Creek scrubs mercury and other toxins as well as sulfur dioxide. Their scrubbing technique allows them to sell the fly ash to reduce the amount of cement needed to make concrete. So fly ash reduces the significant carbon footprint of making cementindustrialscenery.blogspot.com/…

He told the commissioners that he was “shocked” by their moratorium. Representatives from the Laborers International Union also criticized the moratorium, arguing that it blocked potential new jobs.

[…]

John Weeda, director of the North Dakota Transmission Authority, says that he has been talking to several companies that are interested in buying the coal plant. Weeda, who previously worked for Great River Energy and supervised operations at Coal Creek Station, is optimistic that the plant will stay in operation. He says that the potential buyers would like to build an addition to the plant that would capture its carbon dioxide emissions. Previous attempts to deploy this technology, however, have not been profitable. NRG Energy, which currently operates the only facility in the U.S. that captures carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-burning power plant, recently announced that it will suspend operations at the plant.

www.npr.org/…

industrialscenery.blogspot.com/…

The second example in Texas of the Parish coal plant and the associated Petra Nova facility being closed by an energy utility that both profited and killed people during a statewide freeze and widespread power blackout. Like in North Dakota, neoliberal financialization prioritized profits over people.

The WSJ found Texas consumers paid $28 billion more from deregulated providers than if they’d paid at traditional utility rates. Possible reason: mergers left two companies controlling ~75% of deregulated retail supply, by Tom McGinty and @pattersonscott 

www.wsj.com/…

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In brief, extreme cold weather pushed power demand to very high winter levels. At the same time, fifty of the state’s power plants were offline due to the effects of the cold, and several others were undergoing planned maintenance. The combination of very high demand and reduced supply left the ERCOT grid perilously short of reserves. Rolling consumer outages were employed to protect the system from failing completely.
Some wondered whether wind power was at fault, but wind contributed about seven percent of ERCOT’s power during the emergency – about the same as this time last year.
No power system is immune to hazards. But policy decisions that increase the likelihood of hazards or multiply the resulting damages ought to be given careful reconsiderationIn this case, the choice by Texas policymakers to keep ERCOT isolated from surrounding power systems prevented power companies within ERCOT from accessing excess power capacity elsewhere in the state and in neighboring states. Other policy issues also are raised by the emergency, but few solutions are likely to be as cost-effective and technically simple to implement as linking ERCOT to its neighbors. www.masterresource.org/…

Jan 29 (Reuters) – NRG Energy Inc will shut down indefinitely the power source for what had been the only U.S. project capturing carbon from a coal-fired generator until it was idled last year, a spokesman said on Friday.

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The company notified the Texas grid operator, ERCOT, on Wednesday that the Petra Nova gas plant would be mothballed indefinitely effective June 26, according to a market notice.

“This was a decision we have been evaluating for some time,” NRG spokesman Chris Rimel said in an email.

He added that the unit would be preserved in the event that the carbon capture system is some day restarted.

Petra Nova's carbon capture project was seen as a major test of efforts to sequester planet-warming gases and store them below ground, a technology considered crucial to companies and governments hoping to fight climate change.

The plant was designed to capture a portion of the carbon emissions from the W.A. Parish coal plant, and pipe it 81 miles to the West Ranch oil field, where it would push more oil to the surface.

NRG idled the carbon capture facility in May of last year, however, saying a collapse in the price of oil prompted by the coronavirus pandemic had made it uneconomical.

finance.yahoo.com/…

Cartel behavior includes price fixing, bid rigging, and reductions in output. The doctrine in economics that analyzes cartels is cartel theory. Cartels are distinguished from other forms of collusion or anti-competitive organization such as corporate mergers.

As Climate Crisis returns to the new US administration agenda, negative emissions technologies (NETs) may find their implementation hindered by neoliberal financialization.

An earlier ACM story showed how Steve Keen’s critique of Nordhaus’s use of discounting climate change demonstrates that orthodox economics is incapable of accelerating innovation especially in the case of climate crisis. Cap and trade will not be even sufficient in the long-run.

Carbon markets under neoliberal financialization may not solve the crisis if “counting on capitalist volition will not save the environment because the market for carbon credit demand is 15 times too weak.” Add to that the rentier structure of the economy will present higher cost structures for private and public capital. (www.dailykos.com/…)

Today, the commitments made by states are far too unambitious and, crucially, not enshrined in law as obligations: they are simply promises, and often empty ones at that.

Current environmental law is not up to the task of tackling the climate and environmental crisis, because it reflects a worldview in which nature is “managed” based on our needs. The legal revolution I propose turns this on its head, no longer talking about the environment, but about Earth’s ecosystem. It is about re-integrating humans into nature and redefining our rules for living together to include non-humans, who today are not subjects in law but objects to be appropriated and exploited. Very concretely, this involves placing certain limits on the freedom to do business and, above all, on private property rights. It means calling into question the fundamental principles on which our societies are built, as we face up to the challenges of maintaining life on Earth.

Given the urgency of the matter, it is time for radical ideas. The scenarios fueling today’s public debate are forcing all political parties to take a position on a potential legal reform that will threaten the entire financial and industrial system. One such idea is the “Parliament of Things” proposed by French philosopher Bruno Latour, (1) which could be an educational phase in a process of more radical legal transformation, starting with the creation of a “Chamber of the Future”, as suggested by Dominique Bourg. (2)

Such ideas, which once seemed impossible, utopian, romantic even, are beginning to be adopted by very different politicians. This language (which remains just that until it is voted on and implemented) is echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron in his proposal to internationally recognise ecocide as a crime. Of course, he knows very well that at the United Nations, countries like the US and China will never allow an international convention on ecocide to be signed. Macron is happy to endorse innovative ideas as long as they are not binding on France or Europe. His Renew Europe group in the European Parliament recently voted in favour of an amendment which would see Europe’s recommendations for COP15 (the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in Kunming, China, in October 2020) include recognition of a legal status for natural commons. But this begs the question: if the vote had been on a European directive on the rights of nature, would they have voted in favour of this legal paradigm shift with the same conviction and consistency?

Today, the commitments made by states are far too unambitious and, crucially, not enshrined in law as obligations: they are simply promises, and often empty ones at that. As products – and, therefore, guardians – of this system, politicians are unable to escape from these power dynamics and focus on genuinely protecting the public interest in the long term. Truly questioning the economic system and the dogma of growth means challenging the dominant representation of the world and society – and revolutionising how we meet our needs. Which is why we need a new legal system: the United Nations has spent the past ten years discussing a universal declaration on the rights of nature, and the past five a binding treaty on transnational corporations, human rights, and the environment. At the European level, there should, at the very least, be a directive on companies’ duty of care, with criminal sanctions. More concretely, we should grant legal personhood to species and ecosystems, and use that as a basis for a legal status for natural commons. Then, through the creation of a European Public Prosecutor for the Environment, or even for the Rights of Nature, the tools would be there to shift our legal system away from one in which private property rules, and towards one where conservation of the living world takes priority.

Lastly, the concept of ecocide allows us to lay the blame at the door of executives and the biggest polluters, and to stop constantly guilt-tripping citizens into action. This is crucial, because it would flip the burden of responsibility on its head. Over the last couple of years, protest movements have been sparked across the world by rising energy and food prices: from Ecuador to Chile, from France to Iran. On the one hand, there are “climate marches”, demonstrations by (mostly young) people who demand that we finally take the climate seriously, and that we begin the energy transition, by force if necessary. On the other, we are seeing the suffering and despair of those who bear the brunt of social and environmental inequality daily, and who are hit hardest by rising oil prices. We are witnessing the emergence of social revolts whose only aim is to express rage at this corrupt political class – with its cozy relationship with finance and industry – and determination not to be the forgotten victims of the system. But it’s hard to make out an alternative project behind the anger – other than a demand for greater democracy.

www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/…

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The problem of carbon markets is that carbon capture and utilization under capitalism takes priority over carbon capture and sequestration. The real problems come for land and water requirements that are more ecocidal in their requirements or byproducts and unintended consequences.

Canadian company Carbon Engineering is building machines that suck carbon dioxide out of the air by pulling it through a fluid, where it can either be discarded or recycled to be used as fuel.Trees do the same thing, but the fan machines would ideally be built in areas where you couldn’t plant trees, such as deserts, Popular Science reported.

The land required is also extraordinary. To remove just 1 gigaton of CO2 would require a land area ten (10) times the size of Delaware. This estimate is based on information in a 2019 report by the National Academies of Sciences. (And this does not count the land area required for pipelines to transport of the captured CO2 or the tremendous underground space needed for geologic storage.)

downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/…

Full life cycle. Pathways associated with industrial carbon removal (ICR). (Image elaborated from Wikipedia entry on carbon capture and utilization and from Stewart and Haszeldine 2014.)

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Imagine a 19 mile long engineered structure needed to manage direct air capture of CO2 and its storage rather than used in the production of potential products that produce even more CO2. This is not a choice between perfect substitutes.

Are we then ‘entropy pessimists’ like Daly and Georgescu-Roegen where mineral extraction is finite. Or have we proceeded past that point by considering marine and extra-planetary mineral extraction.

It’s important here to distinguish between Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) and Carbon capture and storage (CCS). The former is more attractive for capitalist economic growth but also bad for the environment while the latter meets better the goals of sequestration. Yet the pressure to profit from such remediation technology more often outweighs the greater environmental good because of new or enhanced markets. Ultimately, disciplined governmentality and regulatory action must take precedence in the climate crisis.

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) to be recycled for further usage. Carbon capture and utilization may offer a response to the global challenge of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major stationary (industrial) emitters.[2] CCU differs from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in that CCU does not aim nor result in permanent geological storage of carbon dioxide. Instead, CCU aims to convert the captured carbon dioxide into more valuable substances or products; such as plastics, concrete or biofuel; while retaining the carbon neutrality of the production processes.

en.wikipedia.org/…

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), or carbon capture and sequestration and carbon control and sequestration,[1] is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2), transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere. Usually the CO2 is captured from large point sources, such as a cement factory or biomass power plant, and normally it is stored in an underground geological formation. The aim is to prevent the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere from heavy industry, and so help to limit climate change.[2] Although CO2 has been injected into geological formations for several decades for various purposes, including enhanced oil recovery, the long-term storage of CO2 is a relatively new concept.

en.wikipedia.org/…

As outlined in a prior story the portfolio of methods and technology needed to implement Negative Emissions Technologies (NET) is complex and planning and policy choices require an eco-governmentality that “creates a decentered network of self-regulating elements whose interests become integrated with those of the State”, complete with capitalism’s contradictory logics.

Commons discourse includes carrying capacity and Georgescu-Roegen’s notions of limits to growth with its corollary of steady-state economy.

A single direct air capture plant requiring a land area ten times the size of Delaware is nothing if but a disincentive when tied with fossil fuel industry attempts to connect that technology with “stranded” fossil fuel infrastructure. Thus carbon plant CO2 capture would require solar energy while relying on government subsidies and high fossil fuel industry prices without reducing carbon-centered power plants. In some cases nearly double the water could be required for each ton of CO2 captured. Darn externalities and transaction costs.

Steady-state economies, degrowth, and limits to growth exist in opposition to the unlimited growth models of orthodox, neoclassical economics are more consonant with heterodox ecosocialist economics. Here are some research areas and conclusions from an article on degrowth.

1. An ecological theory of the crisis. Why and how did ecological factors cause or precipitate in the 2008 meltdown? What were the causal channels of their influence? What data is there to support such claims? Soddy’s theory of debt, or the oil-debt theory sketched by Douthwaite, are good starting points. They have to be further specified though into a set of more concrete hypotheses (formal or verbal) that can be tested with data and compared to competing explanations of the crisis.

2. Commodity frontiers. Who, where and how suffers the impacts from the extraction and disposal of the materials that fuel growth? How do unmonetised values and practices get commodified and who loses as a result? Who resists such commodity and commodification frontiers, when is such resistance successful and how does it shape the patterns of growth elsewhere?

3. The growth fetish. If economic growth does not increase wellbeing, and is uneconomical and anti-ecological, what is it that sustains it as a primary national objective? While seemingly naive, this question welcomes interrogation of the structural forces — institutions and ideologies/discourses — that make grow than imperative of capitalist economies. In addition to property (van Griethuysen, this issue), one may want to look at the role of interest rates, debt and other economic institutions, linking them together under theories of capitalism. Also at the level of ideas: how did the idea/discourse of growth become socially dominant and how does it reproduce its hegemony? Why and how do economists and economics perpetuate the “growth fetish” (Hamilton, 2003)?

4. Policy assessments. Worksharing, basic income, alternative currencies, etc. Which are the advantages and disadvantages of these policies and how do their outcomes depend on contextual conditions? Under which specifications and contexts will they facilitate prosperous degrowth, and under which may they promote more accumulation and growth? What do we learn from disciplines that have already modelled or studied empirically the implementation of such policies?

5. Economic and metabolic scenarios. What would plausible degrowth futures at the national, regional or local level look like? How much would people work, paid and unpaid, how much materials, food calories or energy would they consume, how efficient would they be in their production, how many will they be? This is an exercise of putting numbers to degrowth proposals (e.g. Sorman and Giampietro, in press; Victor, this issue).

6. Country comparisons and econometrics. Whereas several nations have experienced recession or prolonged lack of growth, some have fared socially and environmentally better than others. Why do some countries collapse while others remain stable, or even prosper without growth? This research question begs the use of suitable metrics of prosperous degrowth, along the lines initiated by O’Neill (this issue).

7. History and anthropology. Which past societies organised to avoid accumulation and growth, or to downscale? Why, when and how? What can we learn from “original affluent societies” (as Marshall Sahlins, 1972 called them), working a few hours of work? What are the institutional, cultural and environmental characteristics of such non-capitalist societies?

8. Crisis, degrowth and happiness. Different people experience the loss of income incurred by the crisis in different ways. Who and how adapts to a loss of income, and under what contextual conditions? Why do some people fare better psychologically than others under the same stresses? How do aspirations or unattainable goals (Kerschner, 2010; Wrosch, 2003), ideologies, life-styles or other socio-economic characteristics affect adaptability to consumption losses? Do equality, degree of justice or social capital facilitate adaptability to deteriorating economic conditions?

9. Nowtopias. Why do some people — voluntarily or involuntarily — downshift and experiment with non-capitalist practices? What are their characteristics? How do they organise in collectives or networks? When do these initiatives succeed and propagate and when do they fail? Can such localised experiences be scaled up? Do participants politicise through engagement and form a shared experience of class? How do they interact with government and authorities? How do they interact with non-participants that do not necessarily share the same values? How do they handle their potential re-assimilation by the system and the commodification of the new values they create?

10. Population. The present issue contains no article on population growth or degrowth. We know however that it is likely that world population might peak by 2045 or 2050, at less than 9 billion. Fertility is falling quickly where it is still above 2, and remains below 2 in many countries. On the other hand, humans live longer lives. One may be alarmed by the population growth still ahead of us, or rather we should start thinking on new questions. What are the advantages of regional depopulation for the environment and wellbeing? How do regions adapt to depopulation and ageing populations? How may economic degrowth affect fertility, live expectancy, immigration and population in general?

11. Ecofeminism. There is a clear synergy that remains to be explored between ecofeminist economics (with its emphasis on the value of non-market work, and on real human needs) and the economics of degrowth (for some efforts see D’Alisa and Cattaneo, in press).

12. Other social movements. Who and how struggles for reforms that would bring prosperous degrowth? How do existing social movements articulate the growth/degrowth problematic, and how influential is it in their deliberations? How do degrowth ideas get institutionalised in government plans and policies, thanks to whom, and through what socio-political dynamics? How effective are such incipient politicisations and what dangers do they hold? Is there a confluence between the small degrowth (or NE)movements in some rich societies and the large environmental justice movements in the global South? (Martinez-Alier, 2012).

degrowth.org/…

Imagine a 19 mile long engineered structure needed to manage direct air capture of CO2 and its storage rather than used in the production of potential products that produce even more CO2. This is not a choice between perfect substitutes.

Are we then  'entropy pessimists' like Daly and Georgescu-Roegen where mineral extraction is finite.

It’s important here to distinguish between Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) and Carbon capture and storage (CCS). The former is more attractive for capitalist economic growth but also bad for the environment while the latter meets better the goals of sequestration. Yet the pressure to profit from such remediation technology more often outweighs the greater environmental good because of new or enhanced markets. Ultimately, disciplined governmentality and regulatory action must take precedence in the climate crisis.

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) to be recycled for further usage. Carbon capture and utilization may offer a response to the global challenge of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major stationary (industrial) emitters.[2] CCU differs from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in that CCU does not aim nor result in permanent geological storage of carbon dioxide. Instead, CCU aims to convert the captured carbon dioxide into more valuable substances or products; such as plastics, concrete or biofuel; while retaining the carbon neutrality of the production processes.

en.wikipedia.org/…

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), or carbon capture and sequestration and carbon control and sequestration,[1] is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2), transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere. Usually the CO2 is captured from large point sources, such as a cement factory or biomass power plant, and normally it is stored in an underground geological formation. The aim is to prevent the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere from heavy industry, and so help to limit climate change.[2] Although CO2 has been injected into geological formations for several decades for various purposes, including enhanced oil recovery, the long-term storage of CO2 is a relatively new concept.

en.wikipedia.org/…

As outlined in a prior story the portfolio of methods and technology needed to implement Negative Emissions Technologies (NET) is complex and planning and policy choices require an eco-governmentality that “creates a decentered network of self-regulating elements whose interests become integrated with those of the State”, complete with capitalism’s contradictory logics. 

Commons discourse on environmental carrying-capacity as well as the limits of mineral supply are exemplified by Elinor Ostrom and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

Elinor Ostrom's 8 Principles for Managing A Commons

1. Define clear group boundaries.

2. Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions.

3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.

5. Develop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.

6. Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

8. Build responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

www.onthecommons.org/…

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The following details of the difference between direct air capture and point-source capture show that there is a significant difference between technologies that favor sequestration of CO2 and those that capitalize on CO2 capture for new byproduct markets. 

Figure 1 is a diagram of industrial processes of CO2 sequestration, illustrating two methods of capture, one being direct air capture and the other being point-source capture (in this case a coal-fueled power plant equipped for CO2 capture). The diagram illustrates three possible types of disposition of the captured CO2: dedicated storage in an underground geological formation (J); “storage” of the CO2 in other types of products such as synfuels or use of the CO2 in cement production (L); storage in an underground oil reservoir after the use of the CO2 for EOR (N).

Full life cycle. Pathways associated with industrial carbon removal (ICR). (Image elaborated from Wikipedia entry on carbon capture and utilization and from Stewart and Haszeldine 2014.)

The processes both emit and remove CO2. Flows A, B, C, E, G, H, I, K, M, O, P, and Q add CO2 to the atmosphere. Flows D and F remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but also add CO2 to the atmosphere through the energy used to operate the process (E and G). Only flows J and N (storage) actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere for any significant period of time. Utilization, L, stores CO2 for a limited amount of time (Table 2).

Point-source capture and direct air capture have different objectives. The goal of the former is to reduce or avoid increases to the stock of atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel combustion; the goal of the latter is to produce a reduction in the existing stock of atmospheric CO2. Point-source capture cannot reduce the stock of atmospheric CO2 since it cannot store more than it captures. The theoretical best it could accomplish is to prevent additional CO2 emissions from increasing the atmospheric stock (i.e., a ratio of emissions to amount stored of no greater than 1). If any process adds to the stock of CO2, it is counterproductive from the standpoint of collective biophysical need.

For point-source carbon removal to effectively prevent additional emissions, which we call achieving “net stasis,” or for DAC to remove carbon from the atmosphere, which we call “net removal,” the process must not release more carbon dioxide than the amount removed. In any analysis to determine the net amount of emissions vs removals, the “project boundaries” of that analysis must include all of the stages involved, including obtaining, processing, and transporting the fossil fuel (e.g., coal, natural gas) used in the power plant or manufacturing facility; capturing the CO2 from that “point-source,” or, in the case of DAC, capturing from ambient air; transport to places of injection and storage or use; injection of CO2 into subsurface storage sites (and, in the case of EOR, recycling of used CO2 to return it back underground) or conversion for use in commercial products; and—in processes wherein the CO2 is “utilized” prior to or instead of storage—production of oil or other products and the emissions from end use. Figure 1 diagrams the full life cycle of point-source capture (in this example, the flue gas of a fossil-fueled plant; coal is used as the example) and direct air capture. In each stage of the process, CO2 is either generated or removed.

Conditions under which point-source capture could accomplish net stasis:

Point source capture; dedicated storage

The only way for the process to accomplish net stasis is if flow J is not less than the sum of flows A, B, C, E, H, and I.

Point source capture with EOR

The only way for the process to accomplish net stasis is if flow N is not less than the sum of flows A, B, C, E, H, M, O, P and Q.

Point source capture; other utilization

The only way for the process to accomplish net stasis is if flow L is not less than the sum of flows A, B, C, E, H and K.

Conditions under which direct air capture could be a net remover of CO2 from the atmosphere:

Direct air capture; dedicated storage

The only way the process could be a net remover of CO2 from the atmosphere is for flow J to be greater than the sum of flows G, H and I.

Direct air capture with EOR

The only way the process could be a net absolute remover of CO2 from the atmosphere is for flow N to be greater than the sum of flows G, H, M, O, P and Q.

Direct air capture, other utilization

The only way the process could be a net absolute remover of CO2 from the atmosphere is for flow L to be greater than the sum of flows G, H and K.

In the “Results” section we examine the concepts and boundaries used in the studies we reviewed to determine whether they meet our standard for accomplishing “net stasis” or “net removal.”

link.springer.com/…

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link.springer.com/link.springer.com/…

A single direct air capture plant requiring a land area ten times the size of Delaware is nothing if but a disincentive when tied with fossil fuel industry attempts to connect that technology with “stranded” fossil fuel infrastructure. Thus carbon plant CO2 capture would require solar energy while relying on government subsidies and high fossil fuel industry prices without reducing carbon-centered power plants.  In some cases nearly double the water could be required for each ton of CO2 captured. Darn externatities and transaction costs.

Governmentality and ecocide are entwined as the prior administration directed land policy that benefited decided ‘unwise’ use of public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management’s latest assault on the West’s biodiverse pinyon-juniper forests and sagebrush communities dwarfs its many predecessors. The Trump regime is finalizing a “Restoration” EIS targeting 38.5 million acres of public land across 6 states – Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Utah and California. The 60,156 square mile land area is larger than Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware combined. This wrecking balls’ official title is “Programmatic EIS for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration”.

BLM’s falsely named “restoration” focuses on woody plant destruction projects that turn beautiful wild places into dirt, grass and often flammable weeds. The beneficiaries of this mammoth taxpayer-funded wildlife habitat destruction scheme will be the 18,000 public lands Welfare Ranchers who have the revocable privilege of holding federal grazing permits. The EIS is a surefire way for cattlemen to maneuver for increased grazing, especially if the “restored” sites become infested with flammable cheatgrass or other weeds. After BLM smashes sagebrush or grinds pine nut forests into wood chips under its new EIS, the agency can turn right around and intensify livestock use in a “targeted grazing treatment” by claiming cows will reduce flammable weeds generated by the project.

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Targeted Grazing – A Cattlemen Con from the Get-go, Tied to the Public Land Grab Effort

In recent years, “targeted grazing” (livestock eating plants down to low levels) has been heavily promoted by the cattle industry as a panacea for wildfires. This dust bowl grazing is a major part of both the Restoration EIS and separate Fuelbreak EISs. Severe grazing won’t stop the climate catastrophe’s weather-driven wildfires where the large Western acreages burn. It will only create worse weed problems and ruin wildlife habitats.

www.counterpunch.org/…

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This map of potential BLM projects under the Restoration and Fuelbreak EISs and other new Trump authorities shows the enormity of the campaign. It’s sickening to think of all the lovely places jeopardized. New BLM rules enable warp speed destruction of wild land communities and the wildlife habitat they provide. Categorical Exclusions fast-track deforestation including a 10,000 acre Pinyon-Juniper CX that limits public review and environmental effects disclosure, and a new salvage logging CX.

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Buried in Buzzwords

How has “restoration” come to represent such sheer destruction? It’s because range science is confected pseudo-science and deception centered around the lie that grazing is sustainable or relatively benign in the arid West. This is what festers underneath the buzzword surface of the Restoration and Fuelbreaks EISs. Jargon is used to legitimize forage production schemes — treatment, restoration, resilience, resistance, desired condition, prescription. Voodoo vegetation and fuels models are spun off to damn pinyon expansive enough to support Pinyon Jays, western juniper thick enough for a Hermit Thrush to nest and sing in, or sagebrush dense enough for Pygmy Rabbit persistence. Artificial vegetation categories put a treatment bullseye on these habitats. Places deviating from a grassy “desired condition” are “unhealthy” and labeled a threat to Sage-grouse. The mere presence of mature native forests and unbroken sagebrush expanses is “degradation” under BLM’s junk science range models.

The EIS proclaims: The purpose of the project is to enhance the long-term function, viability, resistance and resilience of sagebrush communities through vegetation treatments to protect, conserve, and restore sagebrush communities and to provide for multiple use opportunities. “Multiple use opportunities” = more cows. BLM also states its actions support the goals of the Sage-grouse plans. Regrettably, that’s true. Those plans weren’t based on effectively controlling livestock impacts. Instead, they scapegoated native forests, “unhealthy” sagebrush and wild horses as demons that must be slain or vanquished for the bird to endure, and they gave a big boost to these radical deforestation and sage killing projects.

www.counterpunch.org/…

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Similarly, the reversal of Trumpian policies need to be addressed with more institutional solutions to climate crisis issues.

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An improved understanding of the sources and magnitude of transaction costs can help to identify opportunities for feasible arrangements that promote cooperation between sectors or integration of management across sectors. Ultimately, reaching agreement on a policy choice to mitigate cross-sectoral externalities requires attention to the specificities of the stakeholders, resources, and institutions involved in the conflicts as identified in Williamson’s framework. When considering practical approaches to addressing cross sectoral conflicts, it is useful to recognize that marine ecosystems cannot be returned to historical pristine conditions. All solutions will be second-best because of the trade-offs imposed by competing parties. Cross-sectoral coordination for conservation requires long term stakeholder and political commitments. Accordingly, Pareto-improving arrangements are likely to be more durable. Voluntary agreements within a framework envisioned by Coase (1960) may be the most fruitful way to proceed. They can build upon incentive based fishery sector systems (Grafton et al., 2006) and would require extension of property rights to include impacts on ecosystem resources as illustrated by Wallace et al. (2015) and Holland (2018). Coasean solutions allow sectors to bargain and adjust to address the externality problem and can offer opportunities to move on from stalemate.
www.nber.org/…

Steady-state economies, degrowth, and limits to growth exist in opposition to the unlimited growth models of orthodox, neoclassical economics are more consonant with heterodox ecosocialist economics. 

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Degrowth (French: décroissance) is a term used for both a political, economic, and social movement as well as a set of theories that critiques the paradigm of economic growth.[1] It is based on ideas from a diverse range of lines of thought such as political ecologyecological economicsfeminist political ecology, and environmental justice. Degrowth emphasizes the need to reduce global consumption and production (social metabolism) and advocates a socially just and ecologically sustainable society with well-being replacing GDP as the indicator of prosperity. Degrowth highlights the importance of autonomycare workself-organizationcommonscommunity, localism, work sharinghappiness and conviviality.[2][3][4][5][6]

Pro-degrowth graffiti on the July Column in the Place de la Bastille in Paris during a protest against the First Employment Contract, 28 March 2006
he July Column (French: Colonne de Juillet) is a monumental column in Paris commemorating the Revolution of 1830. It stands in the center of the Place de la Bastille and celebrates the Trois Glorieuses — the “three glorious” days of 27–29 July 1830 that saw the fall of King Charles X of France and the commencement of the “July Monarchy” of Louis-Philippe, King of the French. It was built between 1835 and 1840

In recent years the concept of economic de-growth (decroissance) based on the literature of Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen e.g. [1], [2], [3] has found a revival in France, Italy, Spain and other countries, in the popular as well as in the academic literature. Therein authors took on board Georgescu-Roegens' categorical rejection of a steady-state economy (SSE), as proposed by Herman Daly [4]. They argue that economic de-growth is the only viable alternative goal to the growing economy. This position is challenged in this article and it is concluded that the two concepts are in fact complements. Economic de-growth is not a goal in itself, but the rich North's path towards a globally equitable SSE. Moreover the de-growth literature can benefit from the strong economic historic roots of the SSE and from Daly's macroeconomic concepts, while in return being able to give lessons about bottom-up approaches. This would be particularly important for the population issue, where Daly proposes limited birth licences. Unfortunately statements on demography are inconsistent and underdeveloped in the de-growth literature. Further it is concluded that most criticisms of the SSE are due to a too narrow and technocratic interpretation of the concept. Instead the SSE should be defined as a quasi steady-state, resting in a dynamic equilibrium and as an “unattainable goal”, which can and probably should be approximated.

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In his article on Economic de-growth vs. steady-state economy, Christian Kerschner has integrated the strategy of declining-state, or degrowth, with Herman Daly's concept of the steady-state economy to the effect that degrowth should be considered a path taken by the rich industrialized countries leading towards a globally equitable steady-state economy. This ultra-egalitarian path will then make ecological room for poorer countries to catch up and combine into a final world steady-state, maintained at some internationally agreed upon intermediate and 'optimum' level of activity for some period of time — although not forever. Kerschner admits that this goal of a world steady-state may remain unattainable in the foreseeable future, but such seemingly unattainable goals could stimulate visions about how to better approach them.[2]:548 [116]:229 [6]:142–146 en.wikipedia.org/…

​And then there’s reactionary activity:

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There are difficult policy choices ahead in carbon capture that implicate degrowth, land policy, eco-governance, and the commons, accordingly property relations must change and effective social control must be enforced to address the climate crisis.

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