Lone Star Prize

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

Texas Dirt: The Key to Environment, Economy and Resilience

William Marsh Rice University, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy – Center for Energy Studies will transform the environment through implementation of a soil carbon storage market, while growing new economic opportunities for rural communities.

Competition Participation
Lone Star Prize
Current Work Location(s):
  • Hale County, Texas, United States
  • Chambers County, Texas, United States
  • Matagorda County, Texas, United States
  • Travis County, Texas, United States
  • Harris County, Texas, United States
  • Vermont, United States
  • North Dakota, United States
  • New Mexico, United States
  • Colorado, United States
  • Texas, United States
Priority Population(s):
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Farmers
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 12. Responsible consumption and production
  • 13. Climate action

Executive Summary

Atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) contributes to climate change, which disproportionately affects poor and marginalized populations. Rural communities have long been economically disadvantaged relative to urban and industrial centers. A soil carbon market addresses both CO2 and rural economic opportunity. U.S. agricultural lands have the potential to store about one billion tons of CO2, which represents an enormous, low-cost opportunity. Over the past 2 years, more than 120 stakeholders have been engaged to develop a nature-based, market solution that uses novel approaches for soil-carbon measurement along with enhanced land management practices and economic analysis to promote storing CO2 as organic matter in soils of prairies, farms, ranches and grasslands. This provides economic benefit to both landowners and emitters (such as energy, petrochemicals, manufacturing and transportation industries), as well as a basis for an expanded rural economy. It also benefits water supply, contributes to flood resilience, and restores local ecosystems.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

website: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/
Organization Headquarters
Texas, United States
Organization ID
Annual Operating Budget
$10.1 to 25 Million
Number of Full-time Employees
51 to 100

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity