Texas poised to help hydrogen fuel industry soar

Texas lawmakers this session are taking important steps to help guide the development of the hydrogen industry, which holds promise as a less emissions-intensive energy source for use as fuel or for industrial and agricultural purposes.

Hydrogen is already a proven source as a stored energy carrier, as fuel for transportation, and as a feedstock to produce ammonia. And with 60% of the nation’s existing hydrogen pipelines already in Texas, the state is well positioned to count on this emerging source as part of an all-of-the-above strategy for energy expansion by Texas.

  • House Bill 2847 by Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, would establish the Texas Hydrogen Policy Council, which aims to foster a deliberative, methodical approach to developing the state’s hydrogen policy and regulatory framework. The bill also clarifies that the Texas Railroad Commission has regulatory jurisdiction over hydrogen pipelines and underground geologic storage of hydrogen.

The legislation, sponsored on the Senate side by Sen. Kevin Sparks, R-Midland, has passed both chambers.

  • HB 4885 by Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, would encourage the adoption of hydrogen infrastructure, vehicles and equipment by making hydrogen-fueled trucks and fueling infrastructure eligible for Texas Emissions Reduction Plan grants.

The legislation, sponsored on the Senate side by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, has passed both chambers.

A clean, efficient energy source

While hydrogen is new to the energy sector as a fuel source, there is a growing interest in hydrogen as a cleaner, efficient and low-carbon energy source. This set of bills represents a growing recognition of the important role that hydrogen will play in our state’s future energy portfolio and a growing recognition that the state needs both incentives and a regulatory structure as a pathway to the state’s energy future.

Hydrogen, along with geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage, are important components of an “all of the above” energy expansion strategy that will position Texas to continue to sustain and solidify its role as the energy capital of the world, according to an April 2022 Baker Institute for Public Policy report sponsored by Texas 2036.

Texas 2036 will also be launching an interactive explorer on energy expansion, which will include how hydrogen fuel could benefit Texans.

Video: Texas 2036 Senior Policy Advisor Jeremy Mazur explains the benefits of HB 2847 here.

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