NY Gov. Hochul’s Green Hydrogen Endorsement Puts the Cart Before the Horse on Clean Energy

Ending fossil fuel use is the first step toward cleaning up New York’s energy grid and mitigating climate disaster

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Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Today, Governor Hochul announced the start of construction of North America’s largest green hydrogen plant in Genesee County. The announcement came one month after her endorsement of the CPNY transmission line project to draw hydropower from upstate New York and Canada. Despite public commitments to clean up New York state’s energy grid through these endeavors, Governor Hochul remains silent on the most important priority in reforming the state’s grid — ending the use of fossil fuels.

In a report released today by the United Nations Environmental Program, the international body found that fossil fuel energy production and use must drop precipitously in order to achieve clean energy targets. Without eliminating fossil fuels from the energy grid, New York risks avoiding true grid clean up. While Governor Hochul celebrates investments in nascent technologies like hydrogen, fracked gas plants including Danskammer, Astoria NRG and Gowanus are continuing to move through the state permitting process, threatening to lock New York into dirty energy for years to come.

In response to Governor Hochul’s announcement, Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“To be a true climate champion, Governor Hochul must double down on eliminating fossil fuels, cutting the dirty fuel sources out of New York’s energy grid for good. That means no Danskammer, no Astoria NRG, no Gowanus, no Greenidge Generation facility — no more fossil fuels, period. When we must be focused on shutting down fossil fuels and building wind and solar, diverting renewable energy to hydrogen production is a distraction. At its worst, hydrogen can even be a backdoor to continued fossil fuel use.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]