GOP climate leader pitches marine carbon removal as fossil fuel fix

By Corbin Hiar | 03/29/2024 06:22 AM EDT

Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter said legislation to boost a nascent technology offers an alternative to “just talking about eliminating all fossil fuels.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.).

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) has introduced a bill to fund technologies that use the ocean to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images

A vice chair of the Conservative Climate Caucus is pushing for Congress to spend $165 million on efforts to increase the carbon-absorbing capacity of the world’s oceans.

Rep. Buddy Carter’s “Ocean Restoration Research and Development Act,” or H.R. 7797, offers a glimpse of how he and other Republicans might respond to rising temperatures if they win control of Congress or the White House in November. The idea, the Georgia Republican explained, is to shift the focus from weaning the world off oil, gas and coal to scaling up nascent technologies to clean up their emissions.

“Instead of just talking about eliminating all fossil fuels and going only with renewable energy, we need to look at other ways that we can improve our carbon absorption,” Carter told E&E News on Thursday. “And this is one way that we can do it right here.”‘


Scientists say industrial-scale carbon removal will be necessary in the coming decades to avoid catastrophic climate change. But those efforts must be in addition to steep emissions cuts, they say, and not an excuse to keep burning the fossil fuels driving climate change.