LOS ANGELES - As part of a $7 billion federal program to launch seven regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs across the nation, including California, Mayor Karen Bass today commended the initiative for what she says will foster sustainability, climate resiliency and add hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Of the $7 billion, California will receive up to $1.2 billion from the department to build or expand hydrogen projects that will power public transportation, heavy-duty trucks and operations at San Pedro Bay, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.
During a news conference at the Port of Los Angeles, Bass announced a significant amount of funding would build a greener Los Angeles by helping the port transition more hydrogen-fueled trucks and cargo handling equipment to zero emissions. Funds will also support the Department of Water and Power in its plans to convert one natural gas plant into a hydrogen plant.
``Today is a special day for California and for Los Angeles,'' Bass said. "The money we are receiving will help seed a robust green hydrogen market to assist in the pursuit of zero-emission operations. We know that we must protect and improve the health of communities directly impacted by port-related emissions and work towards a greener future while also ensuring that we create good paying jobs.''
Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said the funding will support the purchase of hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment on all modes of transportation throughout the port complex.
``Together, we have been working on this for years, and I'm pleased to see this day. Working with the Mayors and ports of L.A. and Long Beach, this funding gives us a real opportunity to reach our goals to decarbonize the San Pedro Bay and clean the air of the surrounding communities,'' said Councilman Tim McOsker, who represents the 15th District, which encompasses San Pedro, Wilmington, Watts, Harbor City, and Harbor Gateway.
In Long Beach, city and port officials also hailed the investment, echoing similar sentiments from L.A. officials.
``By establishing a green hydrogen hub, we will now have the capacity to accelerate the production of renewable hydrogen that will clean our air, generate high-quality green jobs for our local communities, and help power California into the future,'' Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement.
Jeremy Harris, president and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, noted this ``landmark funding'' will help reduce emissions and also boost the ``economic growth in the Southern California region.'' Harris added, ``It is definitely a game-changer for Long Beach.''
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday morning, it would be launching its Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, also called H2Hubs, in an effort to accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of low-cost, clean hydrogen -- an energy that can be produced with zero or near-zero carbon emissions.
``Unlocking the full potential of hydrogen -- a versatile fuel that can be made from almost any energy resource in virtually every part of the country -- is crucial to achieving President (Joe) Biden's goal of American industry powered by American clean energy, ensuring less volatility and more affordable energy options for American families and businesses,'' U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement.
According to Newsom's office, hydrogen projects funded through this initiative will lead to a reduction of up to 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to the pollution of 445,000 gasoline-powered cars annually. Additionally, the hub is estimated to create 220,000 new jobs, including 130,000 in construction and 90,000 permanent jobs.
Approximately 40% of the benefits from projects will go back to "disadvantaged communities.''
``Today, we are moving from concept to reality -- advancing clean, renewable hydrogen in California which is essential to meeting our climate goals,'' Gov. Newsom said in a statement. ``We would not be here without President Biden's leadership and his signature Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has served as a catalyst for the nation in addressing climate change.
California's Hydrogen Hub will cut pollution, power our clean energy economy and create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs.''
In a statement, Newsom's office said the state received the federal funding after submitting an application in April through its Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems -- a statewide public-private partnership to build the framework for California's renewable, clean hydrogen hub.
In addition to California, the Appalachian, Gulf Coast (Texas), Heartland (Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota), Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey), Midwest (Illinois, Indiana and Michigan), and the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Montana) regions were also designated as H2Hubs and will receive federal funding for their
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