Interstate pipelines carrying the emerging fuel are common carriers subject to regulation by the Surface Transportation Board under authority closely related to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s parallel authority over oil pipelines. FERC regulation under its cognate statute is also plausible and would be substantially similar.
America’s renewable hydrogen pipeline network will soon be here. Hydrogen energy is currently receiving an unprecedented level of interest and investment because, in addition to its clean, efficient, versatile, potent, and dense attributes, renewable hydrogen could provide the key to decarbonizing numerous crucial industries. Widespread adoption of renewable hydrogen will bring with it the development of a large interstate pipeline network. Fortunately, the regulatory regime governing hydrogen pipeline transportation is already in place.
Hydrogen pipelines will be regulated as common carriers under an established body of precedent, regulation, and statute with deep historic origins. This regulatory regime will allow market forces to drive the development of the interstate hydrogen pipeline network, while ensuring it remains open, equal, and affordable to those reliant on it.