Today the state House in Olympia unanimously approved a measure to help Washington become an international hydrogen hub.

Representative Peter Abbarno introduced House Bill 1729 to create hefty tax incentives for developing and selling hydrogen fuel products.

Representative Abbarno says, "This bill would greatly enhance the opportunity for Washington to become a hydrogen hub. Communities in Southwest Washington and beyond are competing on the national and international stage to become part of a hydrogen hub and this legislation will help keep us competitive."

Under the proposed bill, a preferential business and occupation tax (B&O Tax) rate of 0.2904% would be provided to those engaged in the business of hydrogen research, development, or deployment of hydrogen fuel products; manufacturing hydrogen fuel products, including both manufacturers and processors for hire; and making sales at retail or wholesale of hydrogen fuel products.

Abbarno is as assistant ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee, and was integral to securing funding for Washington's first hydrogen refueling station in Chehalis.

The representative added that, "A diverse energy portfolio is about security and reliability for residential and commercial users...Hydrogen is an emerging source of transportation fuel, manufacturing energy, and other educational and workforce possibilities."

Many in hydrogen production believe that the highly flammable gas will provide a more reliable, and environmentally sound way to fuel our future; far more than electric vehicles and the batteries that power them. The batteries that currently power electric vehicles are full of rare earth that is often mined by children in brutal third world countries where regulations and safety take a distant backseat to profits and the politically driven demand for those lithium-ion batteries.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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