Petra Nova, located just south of Houston, is America’s first commercial carbon capture plant. It began operating in April 2017. Photo: Amy Harder / Axios

HOUSTON -- A recently passed U.S. law supporting projects capturing carbon emissions from fossil-fuel facilities will drive development of the technology in America, the top tech officer at Saudi Aramco said Monday at an energy conference.

Why it matters: Government-owned Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company, so the predictions its top executives say hold significant sway in the global oil and natural gas industry. This technology is also considered essential to cutting carbon emissions to the level, scientists say, the world must reach to avoid the greatest risks associated with a warmer world.

Fast facts:

  • The bill expanded and renewed an existing tax credit.
  • It puts a price on carbon emissions that are captured, for either storage underground or for re-use in some way.
  • The most common way to re-use carbon is controversial among environmentalists seeking to address climate change: to extract oil out of old wells.
  • The expanded credit, known as 45Q, was approved as part of a budget bill President Trump signed earlier this year.
  • The technology is prohibitively expensive in most places in the world because there’s no broad and explicit price on carbon emissions.

Quoted:

Just recently there was a law approved, the 45Q, in the U.S., which I think is very progressive, which I think is going to drive the takeoff of the technology here in North America, in the U.S., because it really does create a market incentive.”
— Ahmad Al Khowaiter, chief technology officer, Saudi Aramco

The big picture: Saudi Aramco is at this conference, CERAWeek by IHS Markit, in part touting its increased research and development focus. It’s a new sponsor of a tech hub housed inside the overall conference. Al Khowaiter told a small group of reporters that its R&D budget is roughly evenly divided between upstream, downstream and sustainability. Sustainability is a new focus since 2014, he said.

Go deeper: Surprise: Congress backs bipartisan climate policy

Go deeper

8 mins ago - World

U.S. election result will shake up Israeli politics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's biggest domestic political asset is on the ballot on Nov. 3 — his relationship with President Trump.

Why it matters: The outcome of America's election could help determine whether Israel soon faces yet another election of its own.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Zeta closes in

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta strengthened into a hurricane again early Wednesday and was on track to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana by the afternoon, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement a "full investigation" would be launched to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of Monday's incident.