Biden’s hydrogen hubs to bring tens of thousands of jobs to Pennsylvania

President Joe Biden speaking at the Philadelphia Labor Day Rally on Sept. 4, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

October 17, 2023

The Biden Administration announced last Friday that Pennsylvania secured two hydrogen hubs that will bring over 40,000 jobs to the Commonwealth. Gov. Josh Shapiro and other leaders celebrated the announcement on Tuesday.

Gov. Josh Shapiro, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney and labor leaders from the Philadelphia area gathered in North Philadelphia on Tuesday to promote the recent announcement of President Joe Biden’s hydrogen hub that spans the tri-state region.

Hydrogen hubs are designed to create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and infrastructure that increase hydrogen as a clean energy source, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Inquirer goes on to explain that this effort is part of the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and lowering the country’s dependence on fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

The Keystone State was one of 16 states to receive funding from Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and it was the only state to secure two hydrogen hubs.

“It was an intense competition to win these hubs. Practically, every single state in the nation wanted to be in on the action,” Shapiro said at Tuesday’s event. “I want you to know that Pennsylvania workers, Pennsylvania businesses and Pennsylvania’s grit and ingenuity was on display during this really intense competition to land these hydrogen hubs.”

Biden traveled to Philadelphia last Friday to announce funding for the hydrogen hubs that are expected to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the Southeast and Southwest corners of the commonwealth.

“When I think climate, I think jobs. Good paying union jobs,” Biden said during his remarks last week.

The federal government will invest $750 million to build the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub  (MACH2) in Philadelphia and the surrounding region and it will create over 20,000 jobs. The Biden administration also selected the ARCH2 Hydrogen Hub in West Virginia, which will create 21,000 jobs for the region, including in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

During his address, Biden went on to explain how hydrogen meets the energy needs for heavy industries that solar or wind can’t meet.

“That’s where hydrogen comes in.” Biden said. “Hydrogen, you can power industries like the production of steel and aluminum.”

The Mid-Atlantic hub is made up of 17 sites across Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey and will capitalize on existing infrastructure, such as refineries and pipelines.

According to Biden, plumbers and pipefitters will be hired to replace and retrofit oil pipelines to transport hydrogen to fueling stations in the Port of Philadelphia, in partnership with Philadelphia Gas Works. This hydrogen will then be used to power trucks and heavy equipment.

“With these two new hydrogen hubs, particularly the one in the east, we have the chance to become the center of the clean energy universe, right here in the city of Philadelphia,” Shapiro said during his address.

“We have heard time and time again about the need to produce clean energy to address climate change to create jobs and to reduce our dependence on foreign governments for our energy source.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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