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Navigator CO2 Layoffs: Job Cuts Amid Carbon Capture Pipeline, GHG Storage Pushback

October 17, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Navigator CO2 has confirmed layoffs, though actual job cut figures at the carbon capture company are undisclosed.

The layoffs surfaced after Navigator CO2 withdrew its application for a key permit in Illinois, and said it it was putting all its permit applications on hold, the Associated Press reported.

The central issue involves a proposed 1,300-mile (2,092-kilometer) pipeline that would carry planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from more than 20 industrial plants across South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, the Associated Press reported. The pipeline, if approved and built, would allow Navigator CO2 to store carbon dioxide underground in Illinois.

Heartland Greenway: Carbon Capture Pipeline Project On Hold

The project, known as Heartland Greenway, could provide biofuel producers and other industrial customers with a "long-term and cost effective means to reduce their carbon footprint," Navigator CO2 said in an October 2021 press release.

Fast forward to October 2023. Navigator CO2 said it is not abandoning the project; instead, the company plans to reapply for permits where appropriate after completing its evaluation, the AP reported.

Carbon capture technology proponents believe such pipelines and associated storage facilities can help to combat climate change. But critics believe renewable energy sources and circular economy strategies represent wiser, more cost-effective investments.

Navigator CO2, based in Omaha, Nebraska, has 44 employees listed on LinkedIn as of October 17, 2023.

Growing Green Job Market Faces Targeted Layoffs, Staff Cuts

Meanwhile, the overall sustainability job market remains strong -- as businesses seek employees to fill green IT, renewable energy, and energy transition jobs.

Indeed, demand for green jobs in the United States has grown roughly 50% since 2019, according to Lightcast. In response, companies such as Accenture, EY, Goodwill and Microsoft have launched green jobs training programs.

Still, the rising tide involving green jobs will not lift all boats. Sustainability-oriented companies announcing layoffs and staff cuts in 2023 so far include ChargePoint, Flexport, Maxeon Solar, and Morningstar Sustainalytics.

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