The past two years has seen extensive bipartisan support for evergreen hydrogen and SW Washington has been the beneficiary of some early investments.
“I am proud that we worked together across party lines to advance a clean technology that is good for our economy and our entire state. Evergreen hydrogen is an important fuel technology for transportation in our state, and we are in a position to be a national leader in making and using renewable hydrogen.”State Representative Peter Abbarno (R-20), member of the newly formed Hydrogen Caucus and member of the House Environment and Energy Committee.
Last year, Lewis County received $2.55 million in funding through the Capital Budget for Washington State’s first hydrogen refueling station in Chehalis. Abbarno, assistant ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee, helped secure the funds in partnership with the Port of Chehalis, Twin Transit, Lewis County, and the Lewis Economic Alliance. In 2022, Abbarno worked on funding in the State operating budget for a grant application to the U.S. Department of Energy to make Washington State a “hydrogen hub” and passed an amendment that improved bipartisan Senate Bill 5910.
According to the Washington Green Hydrogen Alliance, over the last 60 days, House and Senate members acted to:
- Pass bipartisan legislation, SB 5910. The legislation, which was approved in a 49-0 vote in the Senate on February 12 and then by a 96-2 vote in the House on March 7, followed by a unanimous concurrence vote in the Senate on March 9, will accelerate the availability and use of evergreen hydrogen in the use of state by, among other key provisions, authorizing municipal utilities and public utility districts to produce, use, sell, and distribute green hydrogen.
- Invest $1.1 million in the newly-created Office of Renewable Fuels
- Invest $2 million to support an application by a public-private partnership entity for federal funding, potentially up to $1 billion, to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub
- Form the new, bipartisan Hydrogen Caucus in the House, which will be taking shape over the interim under the leadership of Representatives David Hackney (D-Tukwila) and Peter Abbarno (R-Centralia).
Energy security and grid reliability is more important now than ever and I don’t believe we can merely electrify everything. Hydrogen must be an essential part of our state’s energy portfolio. Good for the economy and good for the environment do not need to be mutually exclusive. We can do both by investing in hydrogen, creating jobs, increasing economic opportunities, and improving the quality of life for all Washington.State Representative Peter Abbarno (R-20), member of the House Environment and Energy Committee
What is Green Hydrogen? Fossil fuel-free energy produced in the Evergreen State. A limitless renewable resource we can use to decarbonize our state’s economy and transportation sectors. It is called “evergreen” because it will never emit any CO2 when it’s being made or when it’s being used.
Shouldn’t we focus solely on electrification of vehicles? Both electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles run on battery electric powered systems. The only difference is hydrogen vehicles power use a fuel cell that turns hydrogen into electricity. The fuel cell sits in the engine as opposed to hooking the battery up to an EV charger. The benefits of a fuel cell vehicle are that it already has a range in excess of 400 miles and can be fully refueled in five minutes, similar to a car with an internal combustion engine. And H2 can be stored indefinitely versus batteries that lose a charge over time. Hydrogen also has a greater energy density than electricity, making it more suitable to power buses, trucks, cargo ships, and airplanes.