When carbon capture technologies are discussed in the media and by our elected officials, it is usually in relation to their environmental benefits. However, the growth of carbon capture projects here in the United States also stands to benefit our economy – nationally and locally.

At the high level of growth needed to effectively meet the United States’ net-zero emissions goals by 2050, the carbon capture market is expected to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, according to a study published by the Department of Energy earlier this year. This is notable for three reasons:

  • These jobs will be reliable, well-paying, and many of them will be protected by labor unions.
  • New employment opportunities are all the more important in our post-pandemic economy, which saw considerable job loss and professional transitions across the country.
  • As our energy landscape evolves, carbon capture and other clean energy jobs offer the skills training and opportunity for a viable career in a long-term, prosperous industry.

Critically, the growth of these jobs aren’t isolated to any one specific region. Instead, as the Rhodium Group pointed out in a recent analysis conducted for the Great Plains Institute, the opportunities driven by carbon capture are available across the country because these technologies can be leveraged regardless of a state’s energy or economic profile.

It is also worth remembering that carbon capture projects signify millions of dollars of investment, providing revenue that directly benefits state and local governments, and in turn helps fund the schools, hospitals, and other public institutions that communities rely on.

To put this into perspective, if all near to intermediate-term carbon capture opportunities in the State of Iowa, for example, are pursued, $2.6 to $3.9 billion in investment will be required to support these projects, creating between 720 – 1,040 ongoing, direct jobs and 810 – 1,220 indirect jobs each year for next 15 years. Additionally, the investment in transportation infrastructure will create nearly 900 jobs over the same time-period.

And in Louisiana, near to intermediate-term carbon capture opportunities signify $8-12 billion in new investment, supporting 1,690 – 2,500 direct jobs and 2,710-4,060 additional indirect jobs thanks to carbon capture capital investment.

As you can see from this state-by-state breakdown compiled by the Rhodium Group, this economic growth can be calculated throughout the United States.

Finally, the growth of carbon capture is good news for American manufacturing. CCUS projects can – and should – rely on American-made materials, driving demand for new products and supporting additional revenue.

Taken together with the ability of these technologies to help us meet our carbon-reduction goals, it is abundantly clear that leveraging the opportunity of a strong domestic carbon capture market is a net-positive for the United States.

To learn more about CCUS technologies, check out CAP’s Resource Library and see what other organizations are saying about carbon capture.