The Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, or H2Hubs, poses an opportunity for the United States to scale clean energy infrastructure while bolstering economic growth. Spanning more than 16 states and 100 congressional districts, the H2Hubs program aims to establish regional clusters of clean hydrogen producers and end users. The seven H2Hubs represent a diverse collection of American communities, from Appalachia to the Pacific Northwest and down through the Gulf Coast. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s preliminary analysis of the congressional representation of the H2Hubs shows that three of the hubs are represented by majority Republican members, three are represented by majority Democratic members, and one (the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub) is located across congressional districts split between both parties. Each H2Hub is a collection of geographic locations; congressional representation of a hub is determined by analyzing the congressional districts that overlap with that hub’s locations. See the full list here.
Note: This analysis is based on potential location of hub projects that is subject to change with local input and other project considerations.
There is a long history of bipartisan support for clean hydrogen. The $8 billion H2Hubs program, authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021, signed into law by President Joe Biden, is just the latest in a deep history of bipartisan collaboration for this important energy carrier. Hydrogen research and demonstration was first connected to the national interest in 1990 when former President George H.W. Bush signed the Spark M. Matsunaga Hydrogen, Research, Development and Demonstration Act into law. Two decades later, an effort to modernize and renew investment in clean hydrogen innovation passed on a bipartisan basis in the Energy Act of 2020 signed into law by President Donald Trump. The H2Hubs represent the next step in this legacy to facilitate the rapid scale-up of clean hydrogen technology.
The potential benefits of H2Hubs are noteworthy, especially in areas with existing industrial resources, infrastructure, and workforce skills—helping to ease the impacts of the clean energy transition, create jobs, and strengthen local economies. The Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub is situated in a region with extensive industrial activity, and the region’s existing infrastructure and skilled workforce present an opportunity to kickstart decarbonization of heavy industry while boosting local economic activity–more than 35,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs are anticipated at this hub. The total economic impact of the Appalachian Hydrogen Hub is estimated to reach $6 billion, bringing opportunities for skills transfer and workforce training for existing skilled labor while tapping into the region’s geological storage potential for captured carbon. The Heartland Hydrogen Hub, leveraging its proximity to the agricultural sector, will help expand American-made fertilizer production using clean hydrogen, providing a secure, reliable, domestic fertilizer source for America’s growers.
To set up the conditions for success, leaders of H2Hubs will need to cultivate trust and enthusiasm through robust community engagement to avoid siting challenges and preemptive project rejections that have hindered past demonstration and energy infrastructure buildouts. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should work with the Department of Energy and clean energy leaders in the public and private sector to ensure the H2Hubs deliver meaningful and lasting benefits tailored to the needs and goals of the local communities they represent.
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