Yesterday in Prewitt and Gallup Indigenous, youth, frontline grassroots groups and allied organizations gathered at the Legislative Finance Interim Committee hearings to show staunch opposition to the shameless use of interim committee hearings as a venue for hydrogen hype without a simultaneous presentation of scientific, financial, and health evidence controverting the claims of industry proponents.
State Officials attended the meeting to tout the economic benefits of dirty hydrogen and parrot the greenwashing talking points of industry without addressing the scientific or economic risks to New Mexico.
We called for an end to false solutions, most prominently any efforts to support dirty hydrogen produced from fracked methane gas. Hydrogen produced from gas is not a “clean” energy, nor is it renewable - an analysis published in Energy Science & Engineering calculated that grey hydrogen produced from methane gas results in 38% more greenhouse gas emissions than burning the gas directly for heat. Blue hydrogen (grey hydrogen with carbon capture) wasn't much better, at 22% more emissions than burning gas directly.
Only Green Hydrogen from electrolysis does not rely on fossil fuel energy - but it relies on a great deal of water. Given that, New Mexico should NOT be investing in ANY hydrogen -- it doesn't make any sense especially when New Mexico should be focusing on our naturally endowed solar and wind -- which we are especially well-positioned to provide in abundance. Mariel's public comments included these important points about the risks of hydrogen investments:
The only plants in existence have proven to be boondoggles. In both Europe and the United States failed hydrogen projects have resulted in billions of dollars foisted onto taxpayers – just look at the hydrogen project failures in Mississippi and Texas. In Mississippi ratepayers and taxpayers were stuck with the $7.5B price tag and not with one kilowatt of energy was produced. In Texas another utter failure, the government lost all its investment as did other investors, nothing to show but stranded assets. Using hydrogen will not break our dependence on fossil fuels. Hydrogen investments merely prop up the next chapter of the fossil fuel industry and put New Mexico taxpayers at risk. In the last six years there have been 572 O&G bankruptcies, why would we continue to tie our communities here in northwestern NM to this volatile and economically risky sector.
The pursuit of dirty hydrogen from methane gas betrays the stated goals of the administration to reduce carbon emissions and prioritizes investments in a fossil-fuel based technology to secure fossil fuel interests. Bold climate action to reduce all fossil fuel emissions needs to happen and must take place with the full participation of frontline communities.
In the words of Marissa Russel who spoke passionately at the hearing: "My people have already dealt with the realities of fossil fuels. And it’s already damaged our land. And now you guys want to create more hydrogen? Like, don’t you see that there are people living on the land, and animals, and life? And you guys are doing it for money.”
The people have spoken. Thousands of us have come out against hydrogen. We say NO! Don’t burden our state with more pollution. We already have real solutions: 100% renewable energy.
The hearing was covered thoughtfully by KRQE here.
Also yesterday, the American Medical Association took a bold stance against the use of hydrogen technology when they adopted a resolution condemning dirty hydrogen.
The resolutions state:
AND ON THE NEE VS. NM AG BALDERAS FRONT...
As you recall, New Energy Economy sued the Office of the Attorney General, the party responsible for enforcing IPRA (Inspection of Public Records Act) compliance, for failure to respond to our own IPRA requests regarding the Balderas, Colon, Rael ring in a timely or complete manner. The Attorney General filed a Motion to Dismiss and we yesterday filed our response. Incidentally, just a few days ago the AG was fined $40,000 by the court for another failure to follow the law. The Albuquerque Journal reports "The state agency tasked with enforcing the Inspection of Public Records Act was found to have violated the act when it didn’t turn over documents that had been requested."