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Ohio, 6-State Coalition to Develop Hydrogen as Clean Energy
Ohio Ag Connection - 09/20/2022

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Monday joined governors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio to announce the launch of the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition (M-H2 Coalition). The coalition will accelerate the development of clean hydrogen, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

"The development of clean hydrogen markets will create jobs and strengthen industries across our state," said Walz. "I am proud to join a coalition that will work to expand the clean energy economy and reduce climate impacts on future generations across Minnesota and the U.S."

Benefits of developing clean hydrogen include:

- Expanding the clean energy economy in Minnesota and creating good-paying jobs

- Reducing long-term costs for consumers and businesses

- Reducing harmful carbon emissions

- Promoting energy independence

"Innovative solutions to fighting climate change require collaborative efforts. Through the partnership of the Midwestern Hydrogen Coalition, Illinois will play a major role in fostering a healthy economic environment for the hydrogen production market in the Midwest, creating more clean energy sector jobs and lowering carbon emissions in the manufacturing and transportation sectors across the state and region," said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. "Additionally, this landmark multistate agreement empowers the state's world class colleges and universities to form working relationships with their counterparts in neighboring states, enhancing the research and development of newer, cleaner technologies that allow us to meet our decarbonization goals."

The agreement builds on the state's landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which set a national standard for aggressive decarbonization goals by pledging to be completely reliant on clean energy by 2050. The creation of this coalition allows for a multi-state, multi-sector approach for leveraging each state's unique assets to be adopted to ensure the development of the hydrogen production industry across the Midwest. This approach will be informed by collaborating with leaders in industry, academia, and community engagement, with the state of Illinois utilizing its world class colleges and universities to lead the way on research and development of innovative clean energy technologies.

Investing in clean hydrogen is a key component of decarbonizing the transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture industries. By jumpstarting the hydrogen market in the Midwest, the state of Illinois will add to its robust number of clean energy jobs and bring down the cost of clean energy alternatives for those who reside here. Additionally, this agreement will lead to reduced pollution, enhanced energy security and improved public health conditions for all Illinoisans. Simultaneously, the status of globally competitive industries will be protected, and emerging industries will be encouraged to increase their footprint in the Midwest.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce will work with the M-H2 Coalition to pursue billions in hydrogen investments, particularly through federal funding, to produce and use clean hydrogen.

"The Midwest Hydrogen Coalition brings opportunities for Minnesota to collaborate with multiple states to draw more investment and develop more innovations," said Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. "Clean hydrogen gives us another great opportunity to transition to a clean energy economy."

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided the U.S. Department of Energy with $8 billion to fund regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, networks of clean hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure. The Inflation Reduction Act, recently signed into law by President Biden, creates a tax credit for hydrogen production, which will make clean hydrogen competitive with fossil fuels.

The M-H2 Coalition will be able to leverage existing infrastructure and develop partnerships with commercial, university, research, and nonprofit organizations to fund and develop solutions for a robust market for clean hydrogen.

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