TO: House Committee on Energy Resources
DATE: October 4, 2022
RE: Public Hearing on Interim Charge:Evaluate innovative and emerging energy sources. Identify and make recommendations to address legislative or regulatory obstacles to the use, development, and deployment of viable innovative and emerging energy sources.
The energy industry must continue to meet growing demand, while also reducing carbon emissions on a significant scale. Innovations in technology and process, including Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), provide one pathway for an array of industries both to meet demand and to attempt to emit less carbon in the atmosphere. Industry and government are also increasingly focused on the production and use of hydrogen, an affordable, reliable, clean, and secure energy. The Carbon Neutral Coalition believes that, as a key player in the oil and gas industry, Texas can lead the way by advancing the use of hydrogen.
Because hydrogen is a zero-carbon energy source, many advancements in hydrogen are already underway. The Port of Corpus Christi (PCC) is actively cultivating production of hydrogen from diverse feedstocks to supply world-scale international demand, developing scalable, centralized geologic storage for captured carbon, which will enable hydrogen production from the regions abundant, affordable natural gas.
The Center for Houston’s Future released a report outlining how Houston could become the epicenter of a global clean hydrogen hub, using existing hydrogen production facilities and pipelines, Houston’s industrial energy consumer base, and the renewable energy assets already in place. The report projects that a Houston-led clean hydrogen hub could reduce carbon emissions by 220 million tons by 2050, build a $100 billion hydrogen economy, and add 180,000 jobs by 2050, through initiatives focused on policy, infrastructure, and innovation.
Senator Cornyn introduced the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, to incentivize hydrogen infrastructure and adoption of hydrogen in certain sectors on a federal level. On a state level, incentives for CCUS, necessary to produce hydrogen, could help support a hydrogen economy. While the State has provided substantial benefits to other renewable projects (solar and wind), there are no direct state incentives for CCUS projects that would help our vital oil and gas industry while spurring a hydrogen economy.
The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas identified a need for an inventory of carbon storage reservoirs sites for use to make progress on hydrogen storage; the identification of such sites could also help further other low-carbon initiatives such as CCUS, by locating storage that could be utilized for both long term sequestration and immediate term hydrogen storage. Any initiatives for the expansion of the state’s underground natural gas storage capacity should include hydrogen storage as well. With changes to our legal, economic and regulatory structure, Texas could become the leading producer of low-cost hydrogen in the nation. With an increased focus from the industry, coupled with state incentives and leadership to map out the infrastructure for hydrogen- fueled transportation, Texas could be positioned to benefit from an increased reliance on this zero-emissions fuel.