Reps. Raskin and Beyer Encourage Department of Energy to Ensure Hydrogen Emissions Transparency

Emissions transparency would help ensure new hydrogen production facilities support our climate goals

May 22, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Don Beyer (VA-08) called on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) to improve transparency into the climate effects of its hydrogen hubs in its Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program (H2Hubs) by releasing the lifecycle emissions data for each of the hubs. Hydrogen production is extremely energy intensive and making this data publicly available will help ensure the hubs are on track to actually support our climate goals. 

“Today, we are writing to respectfully request that OCED publish the projected lifecycle emissions of hydrogen production in each of the seven selected Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs),” wrote the lawmakers. “As the Department of the Treasury works on finalizing its guidance for the 45V Clean Hydrogen Production Credit established in the Inflation Reduction Act, the projected lifecycle emissions data from the H2Hubs is essential to help the public and policymakers better understand whether the H2Hubs are bringing us towards our climate emissions reduction goals.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act required the DOE to provide emissions information on the (H2Hubs). To date, the OCED has released some emissions data, but the Representatives noted in their letter that “DOE has yet to publish the projected lifecycle emissions linked to the production of hydrogen in each H2Hub. This information is overdue and critical for us to fully understand the precise climate and public health consequences of the H2Hubs program.”

The representatives continued, “Scientists have warned that high levels of lifecycle emissions from hydrogen production could entirely cancel out any climate benefits from replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen. By disclosing only the projected GHG emissions savings associated with displacing fossil fuels with hydrogen, DOE has left out a crucial piece of the story. With billions of taxpayer dollars going to these hydrogen hubs, the public deserves to see the full picture in order to understand whether the H2Hubs will indeed support our decarbonization goals and deliver public health and climate benefits to our communities.”

Reps. Raskin and Beyer previously successfully advocated for the Treasury Department to retain strong climate standards in the draft rule for the Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit, a new federal tax credit created by the Inflation Reduction Act, incentivizing clean hydrogen production under the three pillars of additionality, deliverability and hourly time-based matching. These three pillars ensure hydrogen is produced with new, “additional,” renewable energy sources, not just the limited renewables currently supplying our power grid, that the power generated by clean energy reaches hydrogen production projects, and that hydrogen is produced during the same hours that the clean electricity is being generated.

The full letter to the Department of Energy can be found here