Thanks to an assist from the Biden administration, America the Beautiful may just stay that way.
United States President Joe Biden announced on Oct. 13 that 16 states will receive a combined $7 billion in federal grants to create “hydrogen hubs,” according to Reuters.
The states will form seven hubs that are expected to create thousands of jobs for Americans, with California forecast to add the most permanent positions at 90,000.
Hydrogen is a clean fuel because it doesn’t release harmful pollution that’s been linked to health concerns like asthma and heart disease. The White House said in an official statement it expects the hubs to collectively eliminate “annual emissions of over 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars.”
Each hub will play a unique role in ramping up the infrastructure to support hydrogen energy across multiple industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation, per Reuters.
The Mid-Atlantic Hub (Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey) will build renewable production facilities for hydrogen, while the Appalachian sector (West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania) intends to leverage its natural resources to develop low-cost clean energy.
“[Appalachian natural gas] uniquely positions our region to answer the world’s call for cheaper, more reliable, cleaner energy,” EQT Corporation President and CEO Toby Z. Rice said in a statement to Battelle.org.
Moving west, as Reuters noted, the Midwest Hub (Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) will develop solutions to reduce the negative environmental impact of the industrial and transportation corridor.
Meanwhile, the Heartland sector (Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota) will partially focus on minimizing the negative environmental impact of fertilizer.
The Gulf Coast Hub (Texas) and California Hub (California) were awarded the most money, with each due to receive up to $1.2 billion.
Both states are focused on producing hydrogen, with California hoping to make public transportation, trucking, and port operations greener and Texas utilizing natural gas with carbon capture in its production process.
Tied for third with the Midwest in allocated funds at $1 billion, the Pacific Northwest Hub (Washington, Oregon, Montana) hopes to make hydrogen more affordable in part by reducing the costs associated with producing the energy.
“Nearly a century ago, Franklin Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act brought electricity to millions of Americans, generating significant economic growth and prosperity,” Biden said in a release from the White House. “ … The investment we’re making today will be for our kids and grandkids what those historic programs were for previous generations, only bigger.”
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