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2019 Legislature: Sen. Hawkins’ Renewable Hydrogen Bill Passes House, Nabs Big Win For PUDs

A cleaner burning fuel gets a chance at a cleaner way to produce that fuel. All that’s left is the Governors’ signature. Marcus Bellissimo reports.


The Legislature has approved a bill introduced by 12th District state Sen. Brad Hawkins that would give authority to the Douglas County Public Utility District and other PUDs in Washington to produce and sell a new type of clean energy. Substitute Senate Bill 5588 would authorize PUDs to produce, distribute and sell renewable hydrogen.

The House of Representatives voted 97-0 yesterday to pass the proposal. The Senate had approved it 47-0 in February. The proposal now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for final consideration.

Hawkins told KOHO 101 that PUDs in North Central Washington have been leaders in clean energy for decades, and this bill would allow them to continue to lead with another form of clean energy.

The Douglas County PUD, which asked Hawkins to sponsor the bill, plans to use electrolysis to separate hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules in water to produce renewable, carbon-free hydrogen.

Officials with the Douglas County PUD and Renewable Hydrogen Alliance testified in favor of the bill during its March 14 public hearing in the House Environment and Energy Committee.

The bill has 32 co-sponsors – 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans – and will soon head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.



Photo: Douglas County PUD General Manager Gary Ivory (left), Douglas County PUD Commissioner Molly Simpson (center) and Ken Dragoon (right) with the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance testified in favor of Senate Bill 5588 before the House Environment and Energy Committee.

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