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February 17, 2022

Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Hearing on Research and Development to Advance a Clean Hydrogen Future

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing titled, “H2Success: Research and Development to Advance a Clean Hydrogen Future.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement as prepared for the record is below.

Good morning and thank you, Chairman Bowman, for holding today’s hearing on R&D priorities to advance the U.S.’s hydrogen economy.

This week marks the anniversary of the 2021 Texas blackout, caused by an extreme winter storm event that led to a massive electricity generation failure in my home state. The event resulted in a loss of power for more than 4.5 million homes, leaving millions of people without heat and water in frigid temperatures. The blackout brought needed attention to our nation’s energy infrastructure, and a year later we are still examining solutions to strengthen the electrical grid against future adverse weather conditions. This hearing is timely because some experts point to hydrogen as being uniquely suited to offer multipurpose, long duration, low-carbon energy storage solutions that will enhance the resilience, flexibility, and reliability of our power generation.

I look forward to learning more about hydrogen’s potential to improve the stability of the grid, and about the many other applications of these technologies. That said, while I welcome an energy future where hydrogen will power the hardest to decarbonize sectors, this committee cannot overlook the challenges that must be overcome to enable hydrogen’s widescale deployment. These barriers include hydrogen production costs, bulk storage, transportation and distribution, and environmental and safety considerations.

In support of this effort, DOE under the Biden Administration launched its Hydrogen Energy Earthshot last year—an effort to set ambitious targets to make key clean hydrogen technologies affordable in the next decade. The Hydrogen Energy Earthshot sets a goal to reduce the cost of hydrogen to one dollar per one kilogram of clean hydrogen in ten years, and I look forward to our panel of witnesses discussing how the United States will achieve this goal.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the $8 billion included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill to support the development of four clean hydrogen hubs across the United States to further the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen. This Committee is charged with providing Congressional oversight of DOE’s entire energy R&D portfolio. So we have an important role to play in ensuring the success of these hubs as they help to chart hydrogen’s place in our nation’s cleaner energy future.

I want to thank this excellent panel of witnesses from our National Laboratories, academia, the environmental justice community, and industry for joining today’s hearing. This panel reflects the many partnerships needed to spur innovation in the next generation of energy technologies. I am eager for today’s discussion to serve as a blueprint for our committee’s future legislation in this important area.

With that I yield back.

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