SoCalGas Jumpstarts “Green” Hydrogen Plan Despite Massive Water Use

Environmental advocates point to any hydrogen development as a distraction from renewable solutions like solar, wind and battery storage.

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Climate and EnergyClean Water

For Immediate Release

Los Angeles, CA – Today SoCalGas applied to the California Public Utilities Commission for a memo account to track expenses for the “Angeles Link Project,” an initiative building out “green” hydrogen to power the Los Angeles Basin. “Green” hydrogen utilizes electrolysis to break water molecules apart. However, environmental advocates have identified the key flaws of any hydrogen development, including the possible perpetuation of fossil fuel infrastructure and the enormous amount of water required for such a process. 

“Green” hydrogen requires 9 kg of water per every 1 kg of hydrogen produced. California is already a home for water-heavy industries, including factory farms, industrial agriculture and fossil fuel extraction, yet the state’s water supply is dwindling. Recent studies place the Western drought of the last two decades as the worst in 1,200 years.

Meanwhile, SoCalGas faces criticism for misuse of ratepayer funds as well as hiking the price of gas by more than 50 percent even as its revenue rose significantly during the pandemic. 

“Californians are not blind to SoCalGas’ profiteering,” said Food & Water Watch’s California Director Alexandra Nagy. “Time and again SoCalGas has shown a willingness to destroy our climate and health while jacking up rates to make profit by any means necessary. We would be foolish to let SoCalGas sell us on schemes like green hydrogen that divert us from real energy solutions and hijack our water resources. We need to break up monopoly utilities like SoCalGas and put real clean energy solutions in the hands of communities and workers that will lead us to the future, not down a darker path that fattens SoCalGas profits while doing nothing to address the real problems.” 

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Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]