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Illustration:Rebecca Zisser/Axios

One of the biggest concerns about the use of technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions is that it would displace renewable energy and deepen dependence on fossil fuels, but a new report out today suggests that’s largely unlikely to happen.

Driving the news: The report by environmental group Clean Air Task Force finds that a federal tax credit that Congress expanded last year for carbon-capture technologies doesn’t displace any electricity from renewable energy while maintaining an impactful reduction of emissions.

The big picture: The technology that captures CO2 from power plant smokestacks and industrial facilities is prohibitively expensive in most cases but considered essential to reducing heat-trapping emissions to the level scientists say is necessary. The Trump administration and Congress have supported its development, despite Washington’s deep divisions over larger climate-change policies.

By the numbers:

  • Nearly 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be captured and stored underground annually by 2030 on U.S. power plants fueled by coal and natural gas, the report found.
  • That’s equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road.
  • The tax credit encourages 3% of America’s fossil-fuel electricity to use carbon-capture technology — most of that on existing coal plants.
  • It has virtually zero impact on developing electricity from renewable energy.

What’s next: Deepika Nagabhushan, an expert at the group and lead author of the report, says the tax could help the U.S. get more than two-thirds of the way toward achieving goals by the International Energy Agency, but guidance is needed from the IRS to really encourage more investment.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.