While Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled General Assembly has clashed with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf regarding overspending and budget objectives, the two parties have worked together to get billions in federal energy money.
According to the letter, Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, together with Wolf, has expressed support for a hydrogen hub in the state, which will “modernize our industrial and manufacturing base with less carbon-intensive sources of energy.”
Pennsylvania is pursuing billions of dollars in financing from the Department of Energy to construct a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub for energy generation and carbon capture, as The Center Square has reported. On a federal level, the Department of Energy proposes to fund at least four RCHHs with an $8 billion budget.
“If Pennsylvania succeeds in becoming one of our nation’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, we will create employment and economic growth while laying the groundwork for an industrial and manufacturing sector that can compete in today’s economy,” Wolf said in a statement.
“Pennsylvania has all of the building blocks it needs to succeed in this new energy ecosystem: a competitive advantage in energy production, promising geology for permanently storing carbon dioxide, a diverse economy with a strong industrial base and highly skilled workforce, and a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the letter.
While the geology of Pennsylvania is intriguing, carbon capture technology has yet to demonstrate its worth.
Carbon capture is a technique for lowering CO2 emissions by storing them underground instead of releasing them into the atmosphere. The carbon would be delivered to storage facilities through pipes, reducing emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants. According to the International Energy Agency, 27 carbon capture plants were operational in 2021, while 163 projects were in advanced construction or had been announced.
Carbon capture, on the other hand, has been chastised by environmentalists for its exorbitant prices and failure to deliver on its promises. Carbon capture’s attractiveness is based on “magical thinking,” according to PennFuture’s Emma Bast.
As The Center Square previously highlighted, carbon capture projects have been highly reliant on government support and have struggled to demonstrate environmental or economic advantages. Regardless, the potential of federal funds has aroused the curiosity of politicians on both sides of the aisle in Pennsylvania.