Heinrich, Luján, Bipartisan Group Of Senators Introduce Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative Aimed At Reducing Carbon Emissions
Lawmakers introduce bipartisan package of legislation to incentivize adoption of clean hydrogen in key sectors and infrastructure buildout
WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2021) – Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce the bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, a package of three bills to support the adoption of hydrogen in energy intensive sectors. The bills are led by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) and also cosponsored by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
Clean hydrogen is a high-energy fuel source that does not emit greenhouse gases at the point of use, properties that allow it to be used in intense and long duration applications. These traits make it an attractive fuel source, especially for hard-to-abate sectors like shipping and industry. As recent reports from Clean Air Task Force, Resources for the Future, and Energy Futures Initiative have made clear, hydrogen is a sound solution for reducing emissions in sectors such as marine shipping, iron and steel, and industrial process heating.
“As we move our homes and cars toward clean and carbon pollution-free electricity, there will still be difficult to decarbonize industries like steel, cement, and maritime shipping,” said Heinrich. “Clean hydrogen offers real potential as a solution to these challenges, and it could prove to be a major new economic driver in energy producing communities. I’m proud to support these investments in the infrastructure that will set a strong foundation for the success of America’s emerging hydrogen industry.”
“Clean hydrogen will fill a critical need in our efforts to achieve a net-zero future, providing an alternative energy source for the toughest parts of our economy like shipping, aviation, and heavy industry,” said Luján. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation with Senators Coons, Cornyn, Heinrich, and Cassidy that will jump-start investments in clean hydrogen infrastructure while ensuring the clear priorities are on uplifting our communities and on lowering emissions to help meet our climate goals.”
Years of R&D and recent private investment have brought a number of hydrogen-powered technologies closer to commercialization, and governments around the world have financed expansive hydrogen networks to integrate it as a carbon-free fuel source. In the last year, hydrogen has seen a resurgence of interest in the policy community, and there exists significant momentum behind proposals to provide domestic federal policy support.
This initiative is comprised of three components that address high-value, end-use applications and the buildout of infrastructure needed to transport, store, and deliver hydrogen, thereby providing critical support at multiple stages of the hydrogen value chain. The new initiative is focused on applications in energy intensive sectors for which hydrogen is particularly well-suited, namely maritime and heavy industry, and the infrastructure that is needed to get hydrogen from where it is produced to where it can be used and stored. Priority is given to projects that will maximize emissions reductions to deliver the greatest environmental benefits. By lowering cost barriers and first-mover risks, the package enables projects and partnerships that will move the United States closer to meeting the demands of a robust hydrogen economy.
The legislation included in the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative would:
- Promote hydrogen- and ammonia-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications.
- Support commercial scale demonstration projects for end-use industrial applications of hydrogen, including in the production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals.
- Create a pilot Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) program to provide grants and flexible, low-interest loans for retrofitted or new hydrogen transport infrastructure projects. This bill also includes a study to address outstanding questions related to technical requirements for transporting and storing hydrogen as well as an assessment of jurisdiction over siting, construction, safety, and regulation for hydrogen transport infrastructure.