Biden talks up historic spending on hydrogen hubs, which will be spread over 16 states

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President Joe Biden on Friday touted the selection of seven regional projects that will receive a total of around $7 billion in federal funding to build out hydrogen hubs, which are key for meeting climate goals.

“I’m here to announce one of the largest advanced manufacturing investments in the history of this nation — $7 billion in federal investments,” Biden said during a speech in Philadelphia. “It’s going to attract $40 billion in private investment in clean hydrogen power spread over 16 states, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

The president said he’s made it a goal for the U.S. to get to net-zero emissions from pollutants no later than 2050, and he said that clean hydrogen is going to help the country meet that goal.

The funding for the hydrogen hubs stems from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. The aim of the hubs is to create networks of producers, consumers and connective infrastructure that will accelerate the use of hydrogen, according to the Department of Energy.

Read more: Hydrogen, carbon capture and nuclear energy feature in most net-zero emissions plans

The White House said there will be a mid-Atlantic hub for Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey; an Appalachian hub for West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania; and hubs for California and Texas. There is also expected to be a hub for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota; one for Illinois, Indiana and Michigan; and one for Washington state, Oregon and Montana.

Before his speech, Biden tripped as he went up a set of stairs to a stage, and the Republican National Committee posted video of the stumble. The Democratic incumbent’s opponents have often highlighted his age ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Biden, who is 80, made a reference to his age at the end of his address.

“I mean this — and I know I don’t look it, but I’ve been around for a while — I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future,” he said.

Related: Biden’s age is figuring ‘prominently’ in the 2024 White House race — but here’s what the pundits could be getting wrong

And see: Here’s how the Republican presidential candidates say they’ll whip inflation

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