Text version of opening remarks by The Honorable Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator (D-W.Va.), at the DOE Hydrogen Shot Summit, August 31, 2021.

Joe Manchin: Thank you, David. It's great to be here with you all virtually at the Department of Energy's first ever Hydrogen Shot Summit.  

First off, I'd like to commend you and DOE for all of your efforts to ensure hydrogen can play a role in our clean energy future. I firmly believe that we have a shared responsibility to address climate change and that we've got to do it through innovation, not elimination. Hydrogen is a versatile fuel that is a prime example of what can be achieved through innovation. Through technological advancements we can now use our abundant domestic energy sources to produce clean hydrogen, which can significantly decarbonize our economy across the power, transportation, and industrial sectors.

Industry is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize, as many of its processes are energy-intensive and cannot be replaced by electrification or other zero-emission fuels. Hydrogen can tackle the toughest challenges facing cement, steel, and so many other industries, which collectively contribute about 23 percent of U.S. emissions. Further, all of the energy feedstocks that can be used to produce clean hydrogen—fossil fuels with carbon capture, nuclear, and renewable energy—are produced and generated right here in the good old USA, making this fuel independent of foreign supply chains. Clean hydrogen can be used to decarbonize our energy-intense sectors, promote domestic economic prosperity, and maintain energy security. Now, that's innovation at work.

But the promise of clean hydrogen still needs to be made a reality. As with many emerging technologies we need to invest in the entire hydrogen value chain to bring down the cost and overcome deployment barriers. That is why I made research, development, and demonstration of these technologies a central part of my Energy Infrastructure Act, which passed the Senate earlier this month as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. In that bill we fund $9.5 billion in research, development, and demonstration of clean hydrogen. And we tasked the Department of Energy to develop a national strategy and roadmap to get us to a clean hydrogen economy. This includes $8 billion for hubs across the country to accelerate hydrogen production from all energy sources and facilitate its delivery and use across all sectors of the economy.

This is an all-of-the-above fuel. We should be advancing natural gas-derived hydrogen for industrial processes in Appalachia and the Gulf Coast as well as using renewable energy-derived hydrogen for transportation purposes on the West Coast.

The bill also includes $1 billion for research and development to bring down the cost of electrolyzers, allowing for cost-competitive hydrogen production. We aligned this investment to ensure the Department of Energy has the resources needed to meet the goal of driving down the cost of clean hydrogen by 80 percent within the decade. And we invested another $500 million in a manufacturing recycling program to ensure that we can develop these technologies here and support the domestic supply chains needed to advance a clean hydrogen economy. More will need to be done in the future but these investments are a down payment to innovating our way to a cleaner climate, not eliminating it.

I look forward to seeing the bipartisan infrastructure bill pass the house and signed into law by President Biden. As chairman of the Energy Committee I will continue to push for efforts that will advance the use of clean hydrogen technologies and other policies that can support energy-producing communities across the country, including those in my home state of West Virginia. Hydrogen is one practical, sensible solution that can be used to meet the nation's energy demands while achieving our climate goals.

So, thank you again for all that you are doing to advance this critical fuel. Thank you for inviting me to join you today. And God bless you.