Hydrogen hub work group advanced

Nebraska would seek to be selected as a regional clean hydrogen hub under a bill advanced from the first round of debate March 1.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

LB1099, introduced by Sen. Bruce Bostelman of Brainard, would require the state Department of Economic Development to create a work group that would include representatives from manufacturing and industry, agriculture, transportation and energy.

The group’s purpose would be to draft a proposal seeking Nebraska’s selection by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of four regional clean hydrogen hubs authorized under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Congress passed last year.

Bostelman said Nebraska could secure approximately $2 billion in federal funding if selected.

“Nebraska is a prime candidate for a hydrogen hub location,” he said. “We already meet some of the more important grant criteria by having a diverse mix of electric generation and existing substantial infrastructure capable of transporting hydrogen across the United States.”

Additionally, Monolith, a clean hydrogen manufacturer, already has established operations in Nebraska and is seeking to expand, Bostelman said.

As introduced, LB1099 would require the state Department of Economic Development director to appoint the group’s members. Under a Natural Resources Committee amendment, adopted 41-0, the governor would appoint the members.

Senators voted 43-0 to advance the bill to select file.

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