Labor, Business Business: Legislation Risks Biden’s Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in California’s Hydrogen Future to Fight Climate Change

Legislation being debated in the California Assembly this week could jeopardize the Biden Administration’s recently-announced $1.2 billion award to California to accelerate the development and deployment of clean renewable hydrogen and upwards of $11 billion in private investment in hydrogen, according to a coalition of labor, business, and clean energy groups, including the California Hydrogen Coalition, that announced their opposition to the bill today.

Assembly Bill 1550, authored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett (D-Ventura), would mandate the costly and burdensome “3 Pillars” principles on hydrogen production in California.

However, opponents say these rigid requirements will likely result in the chilling of the development of renewable and clean hydrogen that is critical to cutting pollution and expanding clean energy in California. Programs like the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and cap and trade program already provide the desired environmental protections making AB 1550 unnecessary and fatal to the development and deployment of clean and renewable hydrogen. They also noted it would risk California’s status as one of seven regional “hydrogen hubs” in the U.S. named by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“This proposed legislation puts 220,000 new hydrogen-related jobs at risk and adds new regulatory hurdles for hydrogen – a step backwards in developing this clean energy source rapidly so California can meet its climate goals,” says Jennifer Barrera, CalChamber CEO/President.

“Assembly Bill 1550 does not allow California to embrace the full potential of hydrogen technologies and their many benefits,” wrote Chris Hannan, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, in a letter to legislators.

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