Intake fans on collector containers at the ‘Orca’ direct air capture and storage facility, operated by Climeworks AG, in Hellisheidi, Iceland, on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.  | Arnaldur Halldorsson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Energy (DOE) just launched a new $3.5 billion program to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it away. The program focuses on developing four “hubs” across the country focused on direct air capture, the technology that draws CO2 out of the air.

Each of the hubs is ultimately supposed to be able to capture and store at least a million metric tons of CO2. That’s a massive endeavor. Currently, all the direct air capture facilities in the world only have the capacity to capture about 0.01 million metric tons of CO2.

Today, the DOE filed a Notice of Intent — a kind of official “heads-up” — that says that they’ll be making a funding announcement related to those hubs “in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year…

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