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Gus Bilirakis Champions Bills for More Options for Hydrogen Trucks, Ports

FloridaDaily
FloridaDaily
 2022-03-14
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Last week, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilikrais, R-Fla., threw his support behind two proposals from U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., “that would encourage hydrogen, a cleaner fuel source, in heavy-duty transportation.”

Porter introduced the “Hydrogen for Trucks Act” which “would incentivize heavy-duty vehicle owner-operators to purchase hydrogen trucks and fueling infrastructure” and the “Hydrogen for Ports Act” which “would promote the use of hydrogen-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications.”

The proposals are being championed in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and John Cornyn, R-Tex.

“As we grapple with energy affordability and our responsibilities to the future, we need to encourage energy innovation and pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach,” said Bilirakis. “Hydrogen fuel cell technology is a promising solution, and our bipartisan bill will better enable Americans and small businesses to harness the full potential of this reliable resource.”

“The transition to clean energy is a huge opportunity for our economy, and we ought to be incentivizing it,” said Porter. “Hydrogen provides clean fuel and reliable storage opportunities, both of which are essential to reducing carbon emissions in sectors that are hard to electrify. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help us reach our climate goals and make our economy more globally competitive.”

“Deploying hydrogen technologies can make our economy more competitive while aligning with the urgent need to cut emissions,” said Coons. “It’s more important now than ever for the United States to continue to diversify our energy sources. Hydrogen is a promising, low-carbon fuel source that has the potential to provide reliable energy for key sectors—including heavy-duty trucking—but early federal support will be critical to widespread adoption. By advancing this bill and others in the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, we can bolster our country’s effort to be a world leader in clean energy solutions.”

“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source, but there are cost and infrastructure barriers to its everyday use in heavy industry sectors,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would help make new hydrogen technologies more affordable and accessible so businesses and consumers can overcome startup costs and utilize this reliable energy resource.”

The congressman’s office offered some of the rationales behind the proposals.

“Hydrogen is versatile and does not emit greenhouse gasses at the point of use. This is important for sectors like ground and maritime shipping. However, early adopters of hydrogen face cost barriers and other risks. Federal support can help entrepreneurs overcome these challenges, which can jumpstart a robust hydrogen economy in the United States,” Bilirakis’ office noted.

“Heavy-duty vehicles contribute nearly a quarter of all transportation greenhouse gas emissions, despite accounting for only a small fraction of vehicles on the road. In contrast, hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, providing an opportunity for cleaner forms of transportation without sacrificing reliability or range. The Hydrogen for Trucks Act would provide financial support to fleet owners and operators looking to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles. The bill would also provide data and benchmarks for different types of fleet operations, thereby incentivizing private investment and accelerating deployment.

“Ports are well-suited to be early adopters of hydrogen fuel, with different kinds of vehicles in a single location that can share hydrogen infrastructure. The Hydrogen for Ports Act would promote hydrogen- and ammonia-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications,” Bilirakis’ office added.

The Hydrogen for Trucks Act was sent to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The Hydrogen for Ports Act was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

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