Everyone wants to live in a clean, healthy environment. As stewards of our beautiful earth, we should want to leave it better than we found it. Because of the brilliant innovators in the United States, we have the ability through modernization and technology to incorporate new energy production with traditional sources. This leads us to incorporate all-of-the-above energy solutions.
Hydrogen is often described as the future of clean and affordable energy. There are multiple ways it can be developed, but the most effective way is through a process called carbon capture utilization and storage. This process takes coal and natural gas emissions and converts them into hydrogen. At the beginning of 2022, hydrogen was supplied almost entirely from fossil fuels. More than 70 percent was generated from natural gas and 27 percent generated from coal. In the last year, my home state of West Virginia’s coal and natural gas production rose 5.7 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Using natural gas and coal emissions to create hydrogen energy is the perfect example of a comprehensive energy solution.
Enter the 45V Hydrogen Production Tax Credit, which was passed through Congress and signed into law to help incentivize the production of hydrogen. Tax credits are complicated, but important for American businesses to succeed. Unfortunately, in the case of the 45V tax credit, the Biden administration is doing what it does best — completely ignoring congressional intent to push an unworkable Green New Deal agenda. While Congress writes the law, the administration has the power of interpretation. Apparently, the Biden administration is terrified of offending anyone, so they make life harder for everyone. Time after time, this administration has exercised brazen disregard for congressional intent and embarked on rulemaking processes that build upon their liberal climate agenda. Members on both sides of the aisle have fought against the administration usurping their authority. Currently, the Treasury Department is considering regulations that would make it impossible for coal and natural gas plants to access the 45V tax credits. Instead, Treasury is maneuvering to ensure newly built solar- or wind-powered hydrogen production are the only ones benefiting from this tax credit. This is the epitome of virtue signaling. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, it is our job to conduct oversight of the IRS and Treasury Department, and I take it very seriously.
Joe Biden is picking winners and losers in the name of climate change. This administration is hellbent on making coal and natural gas obsolete. Instead of including them as part of the solution and empowering America’s natural resources, they want to stifle all energy production that isn’t considered renewable. It’s wasteful and harmful to rural communities across the United States. West Virginia, for example, has the potential to convert emissions from fossil fuels into massive amounts of hydrogen — but only if the Biden administration stops stiff arming our energy production. West Virginia was on track to add thousands of jobs to unleash and maintain hydrogen production, but instead will yet again be pushed to the wayside by Washington Democrats.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would rather give away American energy jobs than stand up to climate activists who have no sense of real-world economics. It will result in economic disaster for our energy communities and make the nation’s electric grid even less reliable.
Coal and natural gas have been the bedrock of energy production for generations, and I’m making sure it stays that way. Expanding the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Tax Credit is another important step to secure our economic and energy success. If we can take mine methane emissions and turn them into an energy source, the United States will remain energy dominant and independent, while supporting jobs that sustain rural America. My Methane Reduction and Economic Growth Act will allow for the capture and repurposing of mine methane emissions from active and abandoned mines to be used as an energy resource across the United States. It will keep our mines open long into the future, and when paired with coal or natural gas-powered hydrogen, will result in a tangible win for energy security, clean air, and the American economy.
The war on traditional energy is happening and has been since President Obama was in the White House. I am committed to bringing jobs back to the communities that were destroyed by climate activists and bad policy makers. They talk out of both sides of their mouth by supporting shutting down American energy production while proposing buying that same energy from our adversaries who pollute more and have bad practices. Because of our brilliant innovations and technological advancements, we can unleash American energy to unforeseen levels. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure our God-given natural resources remain at the forefront of American energy production, while promoting all-encompassing energy solutions.
Carol D. Miller represents West Virginia’s 1st District and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
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Author: Rep. Carol D. Miller (R-W.Va.), opinion contributor