CarbonCapture Opens New Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

CarbonCapture logo on building entrance
Image courtesy of CarbonCapture

CarbonCapture’s past week has been chock full of excitement.

The startup opened the doors of new headquarters in Los Angeles’ swank downtown Arts District Tuesday, welcoming fascinated guests in to explore the new digs and see demonstrations of its carbon-removal reactor in action.

CarbonCapture’s goal is to develop technology that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with direct air capture machines networked with each other around the globe. It took one leap forward in its mission this week when it opened a carbon capture and storage facility in Wyoming. The company is partnering with Texas climate startup Frontier Carbon Solutions which will supply the storage infrastructure for CarbonCapture’s technology.

The partnership is nicknamed “Project Bison” (presumably, because wild bison are cool and also, the few that remain are quite literally shrinking as the climate warms).

The plant will draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it securely underground. Currently, it’s the largest facility of its kind in the country, and CarbonCapture estimates that by 2030 it could remove 5 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

red carpet for CarbonCapture entrancered carpet for CarbonCapture kickoff eventImage courtesy of CarbonCapture

CarbonCapture CEO Adrian Corless said the drive for the facility was partly spurred by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, in which President Joe Biden’s administration earmarked $370 billion for investment in green energy and climate change mitigation.

“Our goal is to leverage economies of scale to offer the lowest priced [direct air capture]-based carbon removal credits in the market,” Corless said in a statement.

The Inflation Reduction Act further incentivized businesses to buy carbon removal credits – a practice opponents claim basically amounts to climate “indulgences.”

Other critics, including International Environmental Law CEO Carroll Muffett, aren’t sure carbon capture is as effective as its proponents claim. In a recent Investopedia interview, Muffett called the technology as a whole “a cure insearch of a disease,” and noted that “[carbon capture and storage] takes a technology that is just increasingly uncompetitive and not economic, and it makes it even more expensive.” Instead of offsetting carbon already emitted, Muffett recommended phasing out coal and natural gas plants altogether.

Corless noted, “with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the proliferation of companies seeking high-quality carbon removal credits, and a disruptive low-cost technology, we now have the ingredients needed to scale [direct air capture] to megaton levels by the end of this decade.”

IdeaLab founder & CarbonCapture investor Bill Gross & CarbonCapture CEO Adrian CorlessIdeaLab founder & CarbonCapture investor Bill Gross & CarbonCapture CEO Adrian CorlessImage courtesy of CarbonCapture

CarbonCapture plans to have its first direct air capture modules up and running by the end of next year, Corless said, noting the company will keep installing more as soon as they’re off the production lines.

The choice to base this project in Wyoming was incentivized by that state’s swaths of renewable energy resources as well as local tax breaks – chief strategy officer of the state’s business council Sarah Fitz-Gerald told Wyoming Public Media, “we have great geological carbon dioxide storage [and] we have policy that makes it really attractive to locate something like this in Wyoming.”

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is understood by the energy community at large to be a vital part of slowing down climate change. The United States is aiming to become carbon-neutral by the year 2050 – President Biden recently said he wants U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to be cut at least in half within the next seven years—no small feat.

Carbon capture facilities could be a crucial step towards realizing these ambitious energy goals. Yet the price these companies place on captured carbon could be steep in the long run. Companies will end up paying for the CO2 they use, basically a carbon tax – and areas that enact these taxes will likely end up passing the cost down to the average homeowner, as the price of energy could spike.

CarbonCapture already has companies lined up to purchase carbon removal credits, and it's supported by TIME’s climate website and carbon credit purchasing site Cloverly.

At the time of CarbonCapture’s $35 million funding round, Corless told dot.LA, “what really scares me is the current projections that we're actually going to continue to increase emissions through 2035. We're really in a scary point in the Earth's history right now, so there's consensus that we need to shift the narrative, we need to reduce emissions.”

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If Angelenos Don’t Seize the Curb, They Risk Losing Sidewalk Dining

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Connie Llanos, Jordan Justus and Gene Oh
Justin Janes, Vizeos Media

Three years ago, Los Angeles went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, cities like L.A. are struggling to hold on to pandemic-era transportation and infrastructure changes, like sidewalk dining and slow streets, while managing escalating demand for curb space from rideshare and delivery.

At Curbivore, a conference dedicated to “commerce at the curb” held earlier this month in downtown Los Angeles, the topic was “Grading on a Curb: The State of our Streets & Cities in 2023,” a panel moderated by Drew Grant, editorial director for dot.LA.

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Plug In South LA Accelerator Launches 4th Cohort to Double Down On Black and Latinx Communities

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Plug In South LA Accelerator Launches 4th Cohort to Double Down On Black and Latinx Communities
Provided by Plug In

Last week, Plug In, a South LA accelerator program, announced the launch of its fourth cohort. The deadline to apply is March 24 and the program will begin in April and end mid-July.

While Plug In got its start by helping South LA’s tech ecosystem, the company is not limiting the talent pool to local companies. Instead, Plug In is widening its reach by allowing startups from across the nation to participate. The 12-week program is focused on finding founders in the health care, digital media, edtech, climate and sustainability sectors.

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How the 'Thrift Haul' Boosted Secondhand Ecommerce Platforms

Lon Harris
Lon Harris is a contributor to dot.LA. His work has also appeared on ScreenJunkies, RottenTomatoes and Inside Streaming.
How the 'Thrift Haul' Boosted Secondhand Ecommerce Platforms
Evan Xie

If you can believe it, it’s been more than a decade since rapper Macklemore extolled the virtues of thrift shopping in a viral music video. But while scouring the ranks of vintage clothing stores looking for the ultimate come-up may have waned in popularity since 2012, the online version of this activity is apparently thriving.

According to a new trend story from CNBC, interest in “reselling” platforms like Etsy-owned Depop and Poshmark has exploded in the years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. In an article that spends a frankly surprising amount of time focused on sellers receiving death threats before concluding that they’re “not the norm,” the network cites the usual belt-tightening ecommerce suspects – housebound individuals doing more of their shopping online coupled with inflation woes and recession fears – as the causes behind the uptick.

As for data, there’s a survey from Depop themselves, finding that 53% of respondents in the UK are more inclined to shop secondhand as living costs continue to rise. Additional research from Advance Market Analytics confirms the trend, citing not just increased demand for cheap clothes but the pressing need for a sustainable alternative to recycling clothing materials at its core.

The major popularity of “thrift haul” videos across social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok has also boosted the visibility of vintage clothes shopping and hunting for buried treasures. Teenage TikToker Jacklyn Wells scores millions of views on her thrift haul videos, only to get routinely mass-accused of greed for ratching up the Depop resell prices for her coolest finds and discoveries. Nonetheless, viral clips like Wells’ have helped to embed secondhand shopping apps more generally within online fashion culture. Fashion and beauty magazine Hunger now features a regular list of the hottest items on the re-sale market, with a focus on how to use them to recreate hot runway looks.

As with a lot of consumer and technology trends, the sudden surge of interest in second-hand clothing retailers was only partly organic. According to The Drum, ecommerce apps Vinted, eBay, and Depop have collectively spent around $120 million on advertising throughout the last few years, promoting the recent vintage shopping boom and helping to normalize second-hand shopping. This includes conventional advertising, of course, but also deals with online influencers to post content like “thrift haul” videos, along with shoutouts for where to track down the best finds.

Reselling platforms have naturally responded to the increase in visibility with new features (as well as a predictable hike in transaction fees). Poshmark recently introduced livestreamed “Posh Shows” during which sellers can host auctions or provide deeper insight into their inventory. Depop, meanwhile, has introduced a “Make Offer” option to fully integrate the bartering and negotiation process into the app, rather than forcing buyers and sellers to text or Direct Message one another elsewhere. (The platform formerly had a comments section on product pages, but shut this option down after finding that it led to arguments, and wasn’t particularly helpful in making purchase decisions.)

Now that it’s clear there’s money to be made in online thrift stores, larger and more established brands and retailers are also pushing their way into the space. H&M and Target have both partnered with online thrift store ThredUp on featured collections of previously-worn clothing. A new “curated” resale collection from Tommy Hilfiger – featuring minorly damaged items that were returned to its retail stores – was developed and promoted through a partnership with Depop, which has also teamed with Kellogg’s on a line of Pop-Tarts-inspired wear. J.Crew is even bringing back its classic ‘80s Rollneck Sweater in a nod to the renewed interest in all things vintage.

Still, with any surge of popularity and visibility, there must also come an accompanying backlash. In a sharp editorial this week for Arizona University’s Daily Wildcat, thrift shopping enthusiast Luke Lawson makes the case that sites like Depop are “gentrifying fashion,” stripping communities of local thrift stores that provide a valuable public service, particularly for members of low-income communities. As well, UK tabloids are routinely filled with secondhand shopping horror stories these days, another evidence point as to their increased visibility among British consumers specifically, not to mention the general dangers of buying personal items from strangers you met over the internet.