Treasury hearing to showcase battle over ‘clean’ hydrogen

By Christian Robles | 03/25/2024 06:40 AM EDT

A coalition of business and green groups is pushing the Biden administration to change plans for how it tallies emissions from hydrogen.

Rendering of blue hydrogen tanks

A rendering of "blue" hydrogen tanks. iStock

A debate over how to measure emissions from “clean” hydrogen is expected to escalate Monday, as the Biden administration holds its first public hearing on proposed tax credit guidance for the fuel.

The Treasury Department hearing comes after 30,000 comments were submitted on the draft guidance, which outlines how companies can obtain hydrogen credits known as 45V under the Inflation Reduction Act. The Washington meeting also follows a letter Friday from a coalition of business and green groups calling for changes to how the guidance counts upstream emissions for “blue” hydrogen made with natural gas tied to carbon capture.

Under the proposed rules, which were released in December, Treasury considers about 0.9 percent of the methane used to make hydrogen from natural gas as having leaked into the atmosphere. Under the existin g plan, hydrogen producers can’t change that percentage and other predetermined emissions numbers from a model created by the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.


“We believe the requirement to use a fixed, national average [on upstream methane emissions] instead of actual emissions data is misguided,” said the letter, which was signed by the Clean Air Task Force, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ARCH2 hydrogen hub, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association and the Open Hydrogen Initiative, a consortium looking to define measurement of hydrogen’s carbon intensity.