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by Lindsay Steves
Lindsay Steves

3 min read

Bipartisan Support For Hydrogen Prompts Transportation Application Discussions

July 21, 2023

Lindsay Steves
by Lindsay Steves

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To decarbonize transportation, governments and companies are increasing their focus on sustainability programs and initiatives to produce cleaner fuels. A polyfuel future, one that embraces the diversity benefits of electric vehicles, biofuels, and hydrogen fuel cells, appears to be the solution for an effective transition. Actively monitoring clean fuel development is an exciting venture that inspires hope for a sustainable future.

Hydrogen, to focus on one of the clean fuels, has a range of applications. In transportation, interest is increasing because of its cleanliness compared to traditional diesel fuel, the efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the potential for domestic hydrogen production, and the ability to use hydrogen in internal combustion engines. As hydrogen costs decrease, and the necessary infrastructure becomes more available, the viability of hydrogen as a transportation fuel in the medium- and long-term improves.

Support from Congress Advances the Future of Hydrogen

In the United States, bipartisan action around hydrogen production and application suggests numerous opportunities, provided there continues to be active private sector interest and strong engagement.

To support continued investment in hydrogen, along with other energy resources and technologies, Congress has passed transformative energy legislation, including the Energy Act of 2020, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), and the Inflation Reduction Act. The Energy Act of 2020 and the Inflation Reduction Act were particular boons for hydrogen, allocating $8 billion to states and localities to develop hydrogen hubs and offering valuable hydrogen production tax incentives to encourage adoption. Congress now has the opportunity to continue investing in hydrogen for specific applications, including transportation.

Competition for Hydrogen Catalyzes Action and Investment

Although the 118th Congress has been largely marked, thus far, by the brinksmanship around the U.S. debt ceiling, there has been diligent bipartisan collaboration on hydrogen legislation. Collaboration between politicians with divergent political views suggests that this legislation has potential for advancing through Congress.

Notable bipartisan hydrogen Senate bills are summarized below:

  • S. 647, “Hydrogen for Ports Act of 2023” – Requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a grant program to support the use of hydrogen- and ammonia-fueled equipment at ports.
  • S. 648, “Hydrogen for Trucks Act of 2023” – Requires DOT to establish a grant program to demonstrate the performance and reliability of heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  • S. 649, “Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act” – Requires the Department of Energy to develop a hydrogen infrastructure finance and innovation pilot program.

Hydrogen is a point of bipartisan interest because it can be generated by both fossil resources (steam methane reforming) and renewable energy resources (electrolysis). Other countries, such as Germany and Japan, are also considering the potential opportunities and implications of greater hydrogen use, further spurring U.S. politicians to be mindful of hydrogen competitiveness.

Be at the Forefront of Implementing Hydrogen for Transportation Applications

The future of hydrogen holds immense promise and potential. With continued bipartisan support and interest and engagement from the private sector, hydrogen will be a leader in the transition to cleaner fuels. While the use of hydrogen in transportation is in its infancy, learning and understanding the clean fuel options and limitations and building strategic partnerships now will prepare you for when the widespread adoption of hydrogen permeates every network.

Breakthrough is actively monitoring legislative and regulatory activity that impacts the medium- and long-term viability of hydrogen as a transportation fuel. As activity progresses, CleanMile provides shippers with pertinent data and strategic insights to reduce emissions and costs simultaneously, optimize processes, and build strategic partnerships.

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