Amazon wants to give hundreds of millions of dollars to oil companies for carbon removal

Originally published at: Amazon wants to give hundreds of millions of dollars to oil companies for carbon removal | Boing Boing


The oil companies I’ve spoken to are very well aware that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not a long-term solution and won’t let them continue business as usual beyond the near term. At least, most parts of them are, even if other parts won’t admit it yet. We still will need carbon capture, both industrial and direct air, at large scale, though. That’s both to get below GHG concentrations we’re at now, and because we’re going to need sustainable non-biomass sources of carbon for chemicals and some fuels in the future.

What better outcome could there be than the oil companies being the ones to invest in, develop, and de-risk the relevant technologies so they can be scaled up? (Well, the obvious better answer is pricing carbon emissions fairly, but I’ve long since given up hope on the politics of that).


NPR did a series of stories on that company that swear to god sounded more like ads than it did investigations…


No surprise there. The company or some branch of it is probably a “proud sponsor” of NPR.


Another Hater of NPR


Well, Amazon wasn’t mentioned in any of the stories (they do usually say if a sponsor is mentioned directly in the story)… it was more the tone talking about Occidental - like they led with the voices of the owners, and their positions (which is basically use this technology to be able to keep polluting). Critics were interviewed, but they were buried at the end of the story…

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Yeah, those definitely read like ads. So much hype and PR shenanigans in the whole carbon capture world.


There are some very fair questions around the viability of CCS - but without it we’re in a hell of a lot more trouble than we currently think.
I would take issue with one point in the article, though. Oil companies are pretty much the only companies that are able to deploy at the sort of scale required to make the energy transition work. If you want CCS and hydrogen - but also solar and offshore wind and geothermal - you’re going to need those companies on board to some extent.


Or we could nationalize those companies and make them do the right thing?


That’s crazy talk! The free market will fix everything! (/s, just in case it’s not obvious)


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Oh sure, it would be a massive pain in the arse but it’s possible. Taxpayers would then need to fund speculative technologies - like DAC - which may be a challenge.
IRENA, earlier this year, said the world would need to spend $35 trillion on the energy transition by 2030 to keep the 1.5 degree target alive.

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Once again, we put men on the moon, so why can’t we do what we need to do to save ourselves? At what point did Americans (maybe you’re not one of us, I don’t know) become a bunch of whinging babies who can’t do anything difficult? The people on the right seem to think we can’t solve any problems anymore, so why try? And it seems to be true in at least some people in the center or on the left, too. I suspect that there is some embrace of accelerationism on the left going on there … Which, you know, fuck that.

Yeah, shit’s hard… doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.

But we also must cut emissions, like yesterday. This part of the problem with occidental’s “solution”, that they want to use the tech they’ve developed not to help capture carbon to go along with reductions, but to keep polluting…


yeah. it sounds straight out of the “recycle your plastics” playbook. convince people they can have their hydrocarbons and not be eaten by them too. a way to delay the switch, without actually mitigating any of the harms


We already fund the fossil fuel industry, which definitely isn’t working.


It’s just so depressing and enraging how utterly predictable this is. So many on these boards saying for YEARS “we’ll fight tooth and nail, but if capitalism has anything to say about it, there will only be a solution to climate change if the oil companies can get rich doing it.” Pay me to poison your world, now pay me to clean it up. The very definition of “get them coming and going.”


Those tend to not be explicit subsidies, though. This would involve higher costs that governments would have to fork out - and I suspect there are probably other things they would like to fund. The great thing about getting a private company to do the R&D is that it doesn’t matter to the general populace if it all goes wrong. That’s just a loss for, say Occidental.

Certainly CCS should not be a means to stop trying to reduce emissions. It’s going to need to be an addition.
The moon shot is an interesting comparison and valid. Although I think the challenge of the energy transition is harder in some ways? Like, everyone has to change everything in order to keep us in with a chance of not increasing temperatures too much, with new technologies being used in new ways - and not just in the west but around the world.
It’s frankly terrifying.

Happening in parallel with their new wind powered delivery fleet.

I used to work with a man who actually referred to NPR as “pinko”. It had been a long time since that term had ever been used non-ironically.

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Carbon capture sounds nice on paper, but the practicality thus far is not very good. The carbon it takes out is paltry compared to what is out there, and meanwhile, the power for these machines is emitting more carbon.

I think it is possible we come up with a super efficient carbon capture method that may help things… but also we shouldn’t just assume we can tech our way out of a problem.

And I still think we should be looking into Thorium reactors. Combined with solar and wind where appropriate, we could really cut our emissions from power generation