A former executive with Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Upstream Americas, with responsibilities including Exploration, New Business Development, Gas Monetization and Shell Wind Energy, David Lawrence formed Lawrence Energy Group, an energy investment and consulting company. As CEO and chairman of the firm, David Lawrence focuses on addressing increasing energy needs while mitigating the impact of climate change.
One technology-driven approach to curbing climate change involves carbon capture and the concept of the “smokeless stack.” A recent Quartz article drew attention to the success of a bipartisan group of senators in securing a 45Q tax credit extension designated for companies investing in carbon capture technology. The technology, which involves scrubbing devices installed at chemical industries and power plants, removes the carbon dioxide from plant emissions, allowing the gas to be compressed and safely sequestered underground.
Approved within a larger spending bill that ensured continued funding by the US government, the tax credits act the same way in which wind and solar power credits have for decades: by incentivizing the use of carbon capture technologies. The plants that put the captured C02 to use in applications such as pushing out oil within depleted fields receive a $30 per metric ton credit; alternately, burying the CO2 in storage underground generates a $50 credit.
With the investment generated by 45Q as an impetus, the same bipartisan group has now introduced the USE IT (Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technology) Act. The bill seeks to fund research into carbon capture, storage, and use, as well as a private sector competition for developing innovative solutions.