Porter, Bilirakis Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bills to Reduce Carbon Emissions from Trucking, Maritime Transport
Legislation would incentivize hydrogen, a cleaner fuel source, for energy-intensive sectors
Washington, March 11, 2022
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), Chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, today introduced a package of two bipartisan, bicameral bills that would encourage hydrogen, a cleaner fuel source, in heavy-duty transportation. The Hydrogen for Trucks Act would incentivize heavy-duty vehicle owner-operators to purchase hydrogen trucks and fueling infrastructure, while the Hydrogen for Ports Act would promote the use of hydrogen-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications. Companion bills have been introduced by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
“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.”
“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.”
Hydrogen is versatile and does not emit greenhouse gasses at the point of use. This is important for sectors like ground and maritime shipping, which are particularly difficult to transition to electricity. 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.
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.
“Deploying hydrogen technologies can make our economy more competitive while aligning with the urgent need to cut emissions,” said Coons, co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. “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.”
Rep. Porter has been a consistent advocate for environmental protection and transitioning to clean energy. Last summer, Porter hosted U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for a tour of University of California, Irvine’s electric vehicle infrastructure, during which they learned about the innovative hydrogen research taking place at the school’s National Fuel Cell Research Center. Porter has also urged her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to invest in green energy, and introduced legislation to raise fees on polluters extracting from public lands.