Rep. Peter Abbarno named Washington Green Hydrogen Legislative Champion

The Washington Green Hydrogen Alliance (WGHA) on Thursday named Rep. Peter Abbarno as a recipient of their Washington Green Hydrogen Legislative Champion award.

The group’s goal is to make Washington the nation’s number one source and user of green hydrogen, which is used in all forms of zero emission transportation, including light to heavy duty vehicles and marine and aviation fuels, storage of zero emission and renewable electricity, as well as manufacturing and other industrial applications.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for my work on hydrogen policy and alternative fuels,” said Abbarno, R-Centralia. “To be successful, I strongly believe Washington needs a diverse energy portfolio, and that’s going to include hydrogen. Hydrogen is an emerging source of transportation fuel, electric storage and energy production, and manufacturing and industrial energy. And importantly, the production and use of hydrogen will open the door to new educational and workforce opportunities in the clean energy innovation economy.”

As a co-chair of the Hydrogen Caucus, and now ranking member of the Capital Budget Committee, Abbarno has been working to make Washington an international hydrogen hub.

“Representative Abbarno has seen the future of hydrogen as a key and necessary component in our clean energy transition and that can be produced right here in the state,” said Dave Warren, Director of Government Relations for WGHA. “WGHA is proud to honor Representative Abbarno with its first Legislative Champion award along with his Hydrogen Caucus co-founder Representative David Hackney. Together they have championed bipartisan legislation that has advanced unanimously in the Legislature. They’ve successfully advocated for funding for hydrogen related projects in their districts, while raising awareness among their fellow legislators about the role that hydrogen can and must play in keeping Washington state at the forefront of the clean energy transition.”     

Abbarno is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1729, a measure that received unanimous support in the House to create and expand tax incentives for developing and selling hydrogen fuel products. The bill did not advance through the Senate before the 2023 legislative session adjourned.   

The 20th District Representative also co-sponsored House Bill 1236 to provide authority for state transit agencies to produce and distribute renewable and electrolytic hydrogen and own or operate fueling stations that can sell to the public – an opportunity that will encourage public-private infrastructure partnerships to provide hydrogen fuel to vehicle fleets and the public;  House Bill 1505, a measure promoting the alternative jet fuel industry; and House Bill 1792, a 2022 effort to expand the production, distribution, and use of hydrogen not produced from a fossil fuel feedstock.

On the Capital Budget Committee, Abbarno helped secure funding in the 2021 capital budget for Washington’s first hydrogen refueling station in Chehalis.

This year, the governor vetoed a section of the 2023-24 transportation budget, House Bill 1125, aimed at increasing the state’s investments in hydrogen fueling stations in disadvantaged communities for passenger, light-truck and heavy-duty vehicles. Abbarno described the veto as “disappointing and counter-productive to Washington’s clean energy transportation goals.”

“Our victory securing funding for the Chehalis refueling station in 2021 is all for naught if we don’t continue to invest in hydrogen infrastructure,” added Abbarno. “We’re seeing our state bookended by places like California, with their advancements in hydrogen refueling stations and zero-emission vehicles, as well as British Columbia with their hydrogen highway. If we don’t act now, Washington is in danger of becoming a hydrogen dead spot and missing out on economic benefits and commercial possibilities.”


Washington State House Republican Communications