Billions Wasted on Hydrogen Hype

Federal funding should go to bonafide clean energy systems, not fossil fuel scams

Published Oct 13, 2023

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Federal funding should go to bonafide clean energy systems, not fossil fuel scams

Today, the Department of Energy is announcing the hydrogen hubs that will be eligible to receive up to $7 billion in funding from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

In response, Food & Water Watch Policy Director Jim Walsh released the following statement:

“The massive build out of hydrogen infrastructure is little more than an industry ploy to rebrand fracked gas. The Biden Administration has clearly fallen for this scam hook, line and sinker. This multi-billion dollar bet on greenwashed dirty energy will undermine efforts to address the climate crisis, while increasing pollution of our air and water, and milking taxpayers for billions in new fossil fuel subsidies. 

“Hydrogen is not clean energy – the vast majority is derived from fracked gas. Using fossil fuels to create ‘clean’ energy is an expensive and cynical scam. The industry wants us to believe that it will be able to capture the climate pollution generated by hydrogen production, but there is zero evidence that will work, and plenty of evidence showing it will fail to deliver on climate goals.

“Even the cleanest forms of hydrogen present serious problems – most notably the massive amount of water that would be wasted. As groundwater sources are drying up across the country, there is no reason to waste precious drinking water resources on hydrogen when there are cheaper, cleaner energy sources that can facilitate a real transition off fossil fuels.

“No matter its origin, hydrogen presents distinct health and safety concerns. It is highly flammable and prone to leakage. This is particularly concerning given that utilities across the country are pushing forward plans to blend hydrogen into our existing fossil gas system, which would be incredibly dangerous.

“There is a simple reason that dirty energy companies are among the strongest purveyors of hydrogen hype: This buildout does not threaten fossil fuels, it strengthens them. In a moment when every political decision that we make must reject fossil expansion, the Biden administration is going in the opposite direction.”

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