LA City Council Committee Approves Hydrogen Hub Motion For Full Council Vote Against Blistering Public Opposition
Published May 5, 2022
Environmental advocates point to hydrogen’s potential to exacerbate the emissions and environmental injustices of fossil fuel development.
For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Rivers Committee (ECCJR) voted unanimously to send the Los Angeles “Hydrogen Hub” motion to a vote at the broader L.A. City Council. The motion that would kick-start the application process for federal funding from the Department of Energy that would create a “green” hydrogen hub in LA has met with fierce community and climate justice opposition. Only a few people were able to register their opposition during this special meeting, citing a lack of community involvement in the motion’s approval process and numerous environmental concerns.
Chief among the concerns flagged by environmental advocates is the potential for hydrogen blending, a process that mixes hydrogen with fossil pipeline gas, which increases harmful emissions when the mixture is burned at power plants or in people’s homes when used for cooking, heating and hot water. Even “green” hydrogen produced by electrolysis used in this way would exacerbate issues of environmental injustice in hyper-polluted communities. Further concerns were raised about the production of green hydrogen, which requires 9 kg of water per every 1 kg of hydrogen produced, raising alarms in the middle of the worst drought the region has seen in 1,200 years.
“We hope L.A. City Councilmembers will heed the warnings of their constituents when this motion is voted on,” said Food & Water Watch Senior L.A. Organizer Jasmin Vargas. “Allowing LADWP to combine hydrogen with fossil gas at a sprawling Hydrogen Hub will increase harmful emissions and worsen the climate crisis, no matter what color you call the hydrogen.
“The City Council is rushing through this proposal under the guise of clean energy, despite significant impacts it will have on disadvantaged communities. Most notably, this proposal will likely exacerbate the water crisis facing Southern California, where officials are already asking residents to ration water, as well as the potential to stall plans to shut down L.A.’s existing fleet of power plants. We already have proven energy solutions like solar, wind and battery storage to get L.A. to 100 percent clean energy by 2035. We can’t poison our communities and give up our scarce water resources for a scheme that could keep L.A. stuck on fossil fuels for decades to come.”
The motion will next go before the L.A. City Council for a full vote.
Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]
Press Contact: Jessica Gable [email protected]