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Joe Manchin and other Democrats attack Biden for his initiative to restrict the hydrogen market: "Radical climate agenda"

The West Virginia senator and potential presidential candidate argued that the White House proposal “doesn't make any sense.”

Joe Manchin

Cordon Press

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Joe Manchin criticized Joe Biden for his new initiative to regulate the hydrogen market. According to the West Virginia senator, the measure proposed by the White House misinterprets the controversial Inflation Reduction Act and is yet another example of his "radical climate agenda." He was joined by Tom Carper (D-DE), a frequent ally of the president, who argued that the proposal "endangers" the hydrogen industry.

It turns out that the Inflation Reduction Act, enacted by Biden in 2022 after intense negotiations with the moderate senator, included a series of tax credits for the hydrogen market to stimulate its production. It is an energy source defended by environmentalists since it does not emit carbon when burned.

The credit was dubbed "45V" and determined the tax credit based on the amount of carbon emissions emitted through the hydrogen production process. In other words, the fewer carbon emissions produced when producing hydrogen, the higher the tax credit for the producer, which ranges from 60 cents to $3 per kilogram.

However, under new guidelines revealed by the Treasury Department, hydrogen production should be matched annually with clean energy generation until 2027, after which the credit criteria will change to an "hourly matching" system.

The agency led by Janet Yellen seeks to impose more regulations on this market, which, according to Manchin and other Democrats, will only harm it.

"It makes no sense"

The senator and potential presidential candidate was the first to criticize the White House initiative and did so in an extensive statement.

"This Administration cannot keep itself from violating the Inflation Reduction Act in their relentless pursuit of their radical climate agenda. Today's proposed rules on the IRA's hydrogen production tax credit will only make it more difficult to jumpstart the hydrogen market, which will be a critical part of our secure energy future," he began.

"Make no mistake, obstructing hydrogen development in our country is the short-sighted goal of the far-left advocacy groups who lobbied the Administration for these restrictions because they oppose all energy sources other than solar and wind—and even the renewables industries have said these restrictions are a bad idea," added the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

In turn, Manchin called the guidelines illegal and spoke of a double standard, arguing that the White House has "bent, broken, and ignored the law again and again to make it easier to access electric vehicle tax credits." At the same time, the proposal "doesn't just violate the law, it makes no sense."

"It endangers the capacity of the industry"

Another Democrat to criticize Biden's actions was Tom Carper (D-DE), which is interesting given that he usually agrees with the president.

"When developing the Inflation Reduction Act, we intended for the clean hydrogen incentives to be flexible and technology-neutral. Treasury's draft guidance does not fully reflect this intent, potentially jeopardizing the clean hydrogen industry's ability to get off the ground successfully," he said in a written statement.

How is energy obtained from hydrogen?

This type of energy can be generated using electricity to separate hydrogen from water molecules in an electrolyzer or through a reaction between steam and methane, a key component of natural gas.