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Image courtesy of Carbon Engineering

Occidental Petroleum has teamed up with Rusheen Capital Management to advance plans by Canada-based Carbon Engineering to build a direct air capture plant in the Permian Basin — and eventually facilities elsewhere, too.

Why it matters: It's a step toward building a plant that the companies say would be the world's largest direct air capture (DAC) facility, with the capacity to remove up to 1 million metric tons of atmospheric CO2 annually.

  • Occidental subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen, a private equity firm, have formed a company called 1PointFive to "finance and deploy" Carbon Engineering's technology in the U.S.
  • More broadly, the new licensing deal with 1PointFive and Carbon Engineering for the Permian plant in Texas is the "first step toward their aspiration to deliver this technology on an industrial scale throughout the United States," they said.

Catch up fast: Oxy and Carbon Engineering first proposed the Permian Basin facility last year.

  • Occidental, a large oil producer that uses injected CO2 to boost output, and Rusheen are existing investors in Carbon Engineering, which has also received funding from Bill Gates, Chevron and others.

Where it stands: DAC is among the nascent negative emissions technologies attracting more attention as a way to help avoid runaway global warming. But that's if — if! — it can eventually be deployed at a major scale (1 million tons annually is a drop in the bucket).

The big picture: A UN-led scientific report in late 2018 concluded that plausible pathways for holding temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels require atmospheric CO2 removal methods in addition to steep emissions cuts.

Go deeper: Carbon capture leaders team up on net-zero emissions technology

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden's climate diplomacy would face hurdles

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden this week pledged again to immediately rejoin the Paris climate agreement if he wins the presidential election, but ultimately meeting his ambitions for the U.S on the world stage would be much tricker.

Why it matters: Biden would face big challenges and complex decisions after announcing the U.S. is back on the climate diplomacy circuit.

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Lawsuit challenging Houston Methodist's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.