Manchin Leads In-Depth Discussion On Hydrogen’s Role In A Clean Energy Future

Manchin highlights significant role clean hydrogen, from all domestic energy sources, can play in achieving America’s climate goals and ensuring its energy security

February 10, 2022

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges in using clean hydrogen in the transportation, utility, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, stressed the importance of clean hydrogen to America’s decarbonization efforts and highlighted the historic levels of funding included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to accelerate its deployment. He also highlighted the suitability of West Virginia as having abundant supplies of the natural resources needed to produce and the infrastructure and economic sectors needed to transport and use clean hydrogen.

“Clean hydrogen is a game-changing fuel that we can produce right here at home from our abundant resources and use it to decarbonize different sectors of the economy while supporting our energy independence… As with many emerging technologies, we need to invest in the entire hydrogen value chain to bring down the cost and overcome deployment barriers. That is why I made research, development, and demonstration of these technologies a central part of the Energy Infrastructure Act, which this committee reported with bipartisan support last year and which was subsequently included in the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In that bill, we fund $9.5 billion in research, development, and demonstration of clean hydrogen and we task the Department of Energy to develop a national strategy and roadmap to get us to a clean hydrogen economy,” said Chairman Manchin.

During the hearing, Chairman Manchin questioned the witnesses on the current state of the clean hydrogen economy and what they believed were the key elements of a successful hydrogen hub. Mr. Jonathan Lewis, Senior Counsel at Clean Air Task Force, pointed to “supplies of affordable natural gas” and “good access to high quality carbon sequestration reservoirs;” Mr. Michael Graff, Chairman and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., mentioned an ecosystem rich with “energy resources;” and Mr. Brian Hlavinka, Vice President for New Energy Ventures at Williams, suggested proximity to “existing [industrial] infrastructure” – all of which are qualities found across West Virginia. As a result of Chairman Manchin’s leadership on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, funding was provided to accelerate regional hubs across America – including one in Appalachia – to jumpstart the hydrogen economy and strengthen our nation’s energy security while providing local economic opportunities.

Throughout the hearing, witnesses also praised the significant federal support directed towards advancing clean hydrogen made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law hydrogen provisions, in addition to sustained annual appropriations, provide a tremendous opportunity for the United States to address many of these challenges and accelerate the manufacturing and roll out of hydrogen technologies and enable a competitive, sustainable market. DOE’s funding has already led to more than 1,100 U.S. patents in hydrogen and fuel cells and over 30 commercial technologies in the market, along with more than 65 technologies that could be commercial in the next several years,” said Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director of the Hydrogen and Fuel Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Already we have seen significant strides forward in promoting hydrogen energy through public policy, notably with the clean energy provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Thank you, Chairman Manchin and members of the committee, for your hard work to create these provisions which provide critical support for the necessary framework and infrastructure needed to galvanize a national hydrogen market,” said Mr. Jonathan Lewis, Senior Counsel and Director of Transportation Decarbonization, Clean Air Task Force.

The hearing featured witnesses from American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., Clean Air Task Force, U.S. Department of Energy, Williams Companies, and Wyoming Energy Authority. To read their testimony click here.

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.