Barrasso’s Statement at Geologic Hydrogen Hearing

“Republicans have advocated reducing carbon emissions by innovation – not regulation.”

Click here to see Senator Barrasso's opening remarks.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered remarks at a full committee hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the development of geological hydrogen in the United States.

The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable Evelyn N. Wang, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; Dr. Geoffrey S. Ellis, Research Geologist, Energy Resources Program, United States Geological Survey; and Mr. Pete Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of Koloma.

For more information on witness testimony. Click here.

Senator Barrasso's comments:

“Thank you very much Mr. President.

“And thank you for holding today's hearing.

“The Energy Information Administration projects that global energy demand will increase by 34 percent by 2050.

“To meet this demand, our nation will need more of all types of energy.

“And that includes hydrogen.

“Hydrogen offers many advantages.

“It is light, abundant, especially energy dense.

“Hydrogen is also very clean.

“When burned with oxygen, hydrogen only emits water vapor and hot air.

“It is widely believed that we will need hydrogen to reduce emissions in sectors of the economy that use large amounts of energy.

“That includes steel, concrete production, transportation and electricity generation.

“For years, our focus on hydrogen production has been on using natural gas or cracking water through a process called electrolysis.

“Today we will analyze the potential of exploiting underground deposits of pure hydrogen, also known as geological hydrogen.

“Geological hydrogen is formed when water reacts with iron-rich rocks at high temperatures underground.

“Scientists have long known that water and iron-rich rocks produce hydrogen.

“Until recently it was believed that hydrogen would not remain in its pure state for long.

“They believed that hydrogen would join with other elements, such as oxygen to form water or carbon to form hydrocarbons.

“They believed that hydrogen would be eaten by microbes or escape to the surface and into the atmosphere.

“Scientists have recently discovered that in some areas deposits of pure hydrogen can become trapped.

“When this happens, hydrogen builds up.

“And, if enough hydrogen is built up, it can be extracted like oil and gas.

“The scientific community and the private sector are cautiously optimistic that the world contains large reserves of geological hydrogen.

"Dr. Ellis – one of our witnesses – has estimated that even if only a small fraction of these reserves were economically recoverable, it would meet the projected global demand for hydrogen for hundreds of years.

“In December, Mr. President, The Economist published an article on geological hydrogen, right here:

'The fever for colorless gold'

“It is a very, very, complete and good article.

“Quotes the leader of a geological hydrogen company stating that he has the...

'Unpopular view that science and innovation are likely to come to our rescue on climate... as they did with COVID.'

“Republicans have advocated reducing carbon emissions by innovation – I quote you, innovation, not regulation.

“And without elimination

“Geological hydrogen is clearly (he says purely but clearly) an area we need to address.

“Companies exploring geological hydrogen use many of the same technologies used in the oil and gas industry.

“In fact, many of the people exploring for hydrogen today spent their careers exploring for oil and gas.

“These are many of the same people and technologies that have made the United States the world leader in oil and gas production.

“In my opinion, geological hydrogen – unlike wind, solar and electric batteries – is for the strength of the United States, not China.

“Scientists and companies exploring geological hydrogen seek to make hydrogen production as affordable, reliable and clean as possible.

“I am happy to say that the University of Wyoming is participating in these efforts.

“While there is still much to learn, today's hearing will shed light on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

“I want to thank our witnesses for joining us here today.

“I'm looking forward to hearing the testimony.

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

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