"Secretive Hydrogen Hub Talks Test Energy Agency Community Plans"

"The Biden administration is negotiating with hydrogen industry leaders on legally binding commitments involving tens of thousands of new jobs and lower emissions, a pledge crucial to winning community support and achieving US environmental justice goals.

But the secrecy of those negotiations has emerged as an early sticking point in the Energy Department’s strategy to engage those communities hosting infrastructure spurred by its $8 billion hydrogen hub program, environmental justice advocates said and department officials acknowledged.

The department’s negotiations with seven regional hydrogen hubs have been playing out in private since the selections were announced in October. The department and hub leaders have declined to publish their applications, citing confidential business information and saying details are subject to change. They say they will share more publicly when the details of each regional hub are finalized in coming months.

The hubs are among the most closely watched federal clean energy programs, generating intense interest across the country from oil and gas majors, utilities, transportation fleets, and manufacturers. The industry is still digesting Treasury Department guidance proposed Dec. 22, which included strict green requirements and effectively disqualifies nuclear power plants from powering hydrogen production—potentially upending plans in at least three of the hubs."

Daniel Moore reports for Bloomberg Environment January 3, 2024.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 01/04/2024