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Biden greenlights Michigan clean hydrogen hub projected to create 13,600 jobs

The infrastructure law is funding hydrogen hubs to boost the transition to clean energy.

By Oliver Willis - October 17, 2023
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President Joe Biden mingles delivers remarks outlining plans for the investment in seven regional clean hydrogen energy hubs during a visit to Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, PA, USA, on October 13, 2023. (Bastiaan Slabbers/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
President Joe Biden mingles delivers remarks outlining plans for the investment in seven regional clean hydrogen energy hubs during a visit to Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, PA, USA, on October 13, 2023. (Bastiaan Slabbers/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The Department of Energy announced on Oct. 13 that the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, a multistate consortium which includes Michigan, had been selected for investment by the federal government. Indiana and Illinois are also a part of the alliance.

The companies and organizations in the hub will use the funds to produce hydrogen power using natural gas and nuclear energy. They will also use hydrogen in aviation fuel, to power heavy-duty transportation, and for the production of steel and glass, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

Hydrogen power is considered a “clean” energy source and can frequently be produced without creating the same level of carbon emissions as fossil fuels. Carbon emissions are the chief man-made contributors to climate change.

The alliance has projected that the hub will create 13,600 jobs in the region, with 12,100 jobs involved in constructing the infrastructure for the projects and 1,500 permanent jobs when construction is complete. The Department of Energy will invest up to $1 billion in the project, with funds coming from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Joe Biden signed into law.

A total of $7 billion was awarded by the Department of Energy to launch seven hydrogen hubs across sixteen states as part of Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The funds will adhere to guidelines from Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which directs 40% of the funding for many federal initiatives to areas that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized.

“To invest in America and invest in Americans is what we do. We grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down,” Biden said in Oct. 14 remarks in Philadelphia announcing the awards.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised the administration’s decision in an Oct. 13 statement, describing it as a way for the state to innovate while remaining competitive in the transition to clean energy.

“With this landmark achievement, made possible by the Biden Administration and support of our Congressional Delegation, we are not only securing a more sustainable future for our region and state, but we are also unlocking new opportunities for job creation and economic growth,” Whitmer said.

The Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation, led by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, all voted for the infrastructure bill when it was being debated in Congress. All but one Republican representative, Rep. Fred Upton, voted against it. Upton has since retired.

Republican Rep. Lisa McClain, who represents Michigan’s Ninth Congressional District, was among those who opposed the legislation.

“While you were sleeping, the Democrats passed their ‘infrastructure’ bill,” she tweeted in November 2021. “I voted no because it is filled with pork & only 10% is actual infrastructure. Michigan’s roads and bridges need repairs, but the wasteful spending in this bill will harm America for generations to come.”

The fact-checking site Politifact later rated McClain’s tweet as “pants on fire” on their scale of truthfulness and noted that her claim that the bill was only 10% infrastructure was false.

“The bill that passed the House is virtually all infrastructure spending,” the site said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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