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Seventy-nine energy industrial areas applied to be a part of the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program. The Appalachian hydrogen hub was one of seven chosen.
Dignitaries gathered to celebrate West Virginia’s selection as the epicenter for the Appalachian hydrogen hub known as ARCH2. The program is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Both of West Virginia’s U.S. Sens., Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, voted for the bill.
Manchin said the nearly $1 billion investment in this region has the potential to stimulate job growth in the state, stabilize the cost of energy and lengthen the life of the coal industry in the state.
“We’re doing everything that we can with the amount of money. It’s close to $1 billion, but with the spin-off effect, it could be $6 billion or greater. The amount of jobs could be up to 20,000 jobs — most of them in West Virginia,” Manchin said.
Hydrogen For Energy Independence
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the federal investment of $7 billion in the seven hydrogen hubs across the nation is projected to generate another $50 billion in investment.
She said for the nation, this is an investment in energy independence that will help make the U.S. and its allies’ economies less vulnerable from energy producing countries like Russia and Iran.
“We want to make sure we are energy independent. We don’t want to have to rely upon energy from countries whose values we don’t share who may weaponize energy. So America is now going to be the place where private sector investment is happening,” Granholm said.
Manchin said this, by means of addition, will help West Virginia hold its place as an energy producer for the nation.
“I’ve said this, you can not eliminate your way to a cleaner environment. Some people say, ‘Oh, don’t produce any oil, don’t produce any gas, don’t produce any more coal, we’re going to do everything with renewables.’ That day may come,” Manchin said. “But I can guarantee you one thing, you better be energy independent, if you want to be energy secure.”