The fight to define ‘green hydrogen’ could determine America’s emissions future
With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year, a decades-long effort to get a major climate package through Congress is over. But the work of ensuring this unprecedented bundle of funding for clean energy actually leads to reduced emissions is just beginning.
A decision with profound implications for that goal now lies with the Treasury Department, which must settle a debate over the best way of crafting a tax credit designed to advance the production of clean hydrogen. Scientists and climate advocates warn that without rigorous guidelines dictating who is eligible for the subsidy, the government could spend billions propping up hydrogen production facilities with enormous carbon footprints, wiping out many of the other climate gains catalyzed by the legislation.
“Absent strong rules, we could increase emissions by half a gigaton over the lifetime of the credit,” Rachel Fakhry, a senior climate and clean energy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Grist. “The current emissions of the power sector is 1.5 gigatons. So this ... Read more