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Rocky Mountain states to team up on hydrogen tech proposal

CHEYENNE, WYOMING (AP) – Four Rocky Mountain states will cooperate on developing ways to make the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen, more available and useful as clean-burning fuel for cars, trucks and trains, the states’ governors announced on Thursday.

Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming will plan a “hydrogen hub” to be built somewhere in the region, drawing from USD8 billion in recently approved federal infrastructure funding for four or more such regional hubs in the United States (US).

“This coalition represents a shared vision for the future of hydrogen in the Mountain West region,” Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said in a joint statement with governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Spencer Cox of Utah.

The Western Inter-State Hydrogen Hub will have facilities in all four states under plans to be submitted to the US Department of Energy, according to an agreement signed on Wednesday.

Goals will include economic development and the “latest science, research and technology for cost-effective generation, transportation, and use of clean hydrogen”, the states’ agreement said. Hydrogen has long been eyed as an abundant, clean fuel. Companies including major auto manufacturers have been developing hydrogen-fuelled cars, trucks, buses and trains.

Hydrogen can be derived from water using an electric current and when burned emits only water vapour as a byproduct. The fuel could theoretically reduce greenhouse emissions and air pollution, depending on how it’s obtained.

As with electric vehicles, however, hydrogen’s potential has been limited by infrastructure. Lack of fuelling stations limits the market for hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.

Few hydrogen-fuelled vehicles limits investment in producing and moving hydrogen.

A Toyota Motor Corp’s new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Mirai arrives at a charge station near Toyota’s showroom in Tokyo. Four Rocky Mountain states announced plans to cooperate on making hydrogen more readily available and useful as fuel for cars, trucks and industry. PHOTO: AP

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