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Energy Update: April 1, 2022

In the States

AR, LA, OK: Governors Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), John Bel Edwards (Louisiana) and Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma) announced a partnership between their three states to establish a regional hub for development, production and use of clean hydrogen fuel. By forming the agreement, the three states intend to compete as a unit for new funding made available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden in 2021 that authorizes the Department of Energy to fund regional hydrogen hubs across academia, the private sector and government to produce hydrogen. “Oklahoma is honored to join in forming this partnership, not because of convenience, or necessity, but rather because we share a similar vision and goals for the production, use, and economic impact that can result from creating this hydrogen economy,” Governor Stitt said in a statement. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel and as a low carbon alternative in the creation of building materials such as concrete.  

Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas – Tulsa World

 

CT, MA, NJ, NY: Governors Ned Lamont (CT), Charlie Baker (MA), Phil Murphy (NJ) and Kathy Hochul (New York) announced their states had formed a consortium to apply for hydrogen hub funding under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “New York is proud to lead the way in forming bold partnerships to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Governor Hochul said. “Expanding the hydrogen market is critical to New York’s aggressive pursuit of clean-energy alternatives that will supercharge our economy and advance our climate goals.” Over forty companies have joined the multistate consortium, which commits itself to environmentally responsible hydrogen production with an emphasis on “environmental justice.” Participants in the consortium include Columbia University, ConEd, the Port Authority and Vermont Gas Systems. Upon receipt of federal funding, the hub will explore ways to manufacture and use clean hydrogen in areas including power generation and manufacturing. Four Northeast states form consortium to develop regional clean hydrogen hub– PV Magazine

 

NC: Governor Roy Cooper plans to announce that Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast will locate its North American plant in Moncure. The company, which has its North American headquarters in Los Angeles, is planning a 2,150 acre “mega-site” that will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people. The company, owned by Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, launched a line of gas-powered vehicles with BMW engines in 2019. It is seeking to expand into the global market and plans to manufacture its electric vehicle line in Moncure. Governor Cooper is expected to formally unveil the state’s incentive package on Tuesday, April 5th. The announcement comes on the heels of the announcement of a $1.29 billion Toyota battery factory near Greensboro. Officials described the announcement as one of the largest economic development projects in North Carolina history. Officials expected to announce Vietnamese automaker coming to NC, bringing 13,000 jobs – News and Observer                                     

 

TX: In an Austin speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Governor Greg Abbott touted the state’s burgeoning renewable energy industry. “You can have fossil fuels while at the very same time be leaders in renewable energy…  “We’ve got to be very clear that all forms of energy are essential,” the Governor said. Governor Abbott described Texas as a national leader in wind power and said that the state would be number one in solar energy by the end of the year. The Governor also used his speech to emphasize the continued importance of fossil fuels to the state’s economy, and to push back on those who “tarnish” their use. The embrace of renewable energy was shared by the Governor’s general election rival, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. “Texas can leverage our oil and gas expertise to lead on new energy sources like geothermal power, offshore wind and hydrogen” Rep. O’Rourke said on social media. Gov. Greg Abbott touts renewable energy in speech to US business leaders  – Houston Chronicle 

National

With the average price of gas hitting a record high on March 11th of $4.33 per gallon, states across the country have moved to suspend their gas taxes in an effort to ease the burden on drivers. On March 18th, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the state would suspend its 36 cent per gallon gas tax for 30 days. The Governor was quickly followed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, who also announced fare free public buses through June 30th. In California, where the average price of gas has reached $5.91 per gallon, Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed an $11 billion gas tax and public transportation fare holiday. More states, such as West Virginia and Ohio, are considering making a similar move in order to ease costs for consumers.   Some states suspend their gas tax, looking to ease pain at the pump– NY Times

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