- Regulatory uncertainty around energy carrier.
- Oil and gas industry sees hydrogen as future.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should oversee any future build-out of hydrogen pipelines, Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Tuesday.
“It certainly makes sense” for the commission to add hydrogen to its jurisdiction because the commission currently reviews interstate natural gas pipeline projects, the West Virginia Democrat said at a committee hearing. Some pipeline companies are beginning to experiment with blending hydrogen into its gas supply.
A federal siting authority is important as other infrastructure, like transmission lines, face long delays as states and agencies bicker, said Manchin, who recently upended the Biden administration’s plans for climate change as part of a broad economic package.
“I’ve certainly had my fair share with FERC over natural gas issues recently,” Manchin said. “Still, it’s clear to me that the commission’s natural gas siting authority helps avoid challenges that we see again and again in developing in other types of energy infrastructure.”
“My position is this: we can’t be short-sighted here,” Manchin added. “Let’s get the right regulatory framework in place now.”
Republicans disagreed with greater federal regulation at this time.
“At this point, I’m not convinced there is a so-called ‘regulatory gap’ that Congress needs to be filled,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the committee. He criticized FERC’s actions this year to scrutinize natural gas infrastructure.
“The hydrogen industry is still in its infancy,” Barrasso said. “Let’s not kill the hydrogen industry when it’s still in its cradle.”
SOURCE: Bloomberg Law