Today once again hydrogen was defeated. Thanks to all of our efforts, to all of the people united in opposition to false solutions, the bill was moved to the Speakers table and effectively placed on hold till the end of the session. It is shameful that the administration put forward this hydrogen hub plan without doing any research on the health, economic and climate impacts, leaving the people to do the work and advocate for climate justice!
Outrageously a dummy bill HB 220, at the time a blank document, was introduced and discussed in House Commerce. It would have reclassified gas as a renewable energy and extended the operating time for the San Juan Generating Station by two years. The public was provided no notice, no bill text and no opportunity to even review the bill prior to the committee meeting. Props to Representative Javier Martinez for the successful motion to table, but it should never have been introduced or considered in the first place.
It was reported in the New York times today that the current drought in the Southwest is the worst in the last 1200 years at least. The author writes:
"Exceptional conditions in the summer of 2021, when about two-thirds of the West was in extreme drought, “really pushed it over the top,” said A. Park Williams, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led an analysis using tree ring data to gauge drought. As a result, 2000-21 is the driest 22-year period since 800 A.D., which is as far back as the data goes. The analysis also showed that human-caused warming played a major role in making the current drought so extreme."
The question we must ask - why are legislators wasting our time with false solutions and market mechanisms? The time for emergency action is NOW!
Keep your eye out next for SB 14, the Clean Fuel Standard Act. It is possible that industry may attempt to use amendments to the Clean Fuel Standard Act to attempt to bypass opposition to their hydrogen plan. SB14 has already passed the Senate and is likely to be heard in the HGEIC Committee on Wednesday at 8:30am.
The bill already includes carbon sequestration and problematic carbon credit schemes, and could be amended to accomplish other oil and gas goals.
We need a Clean Fuels Standard Act that is based on best practices -- not the one currently proposed. Best practices would look like:
1) Simple and straight forward fuel efficiency standards. 2) Requirements for % of electric vehicles sold. 3) Investments in public transit.
These are the tools that have proven most effective in reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector.
OTHER LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
HB6 - The Clean Future Act is scheduled on the House floor. New Energy Economy opposes the inclusion of offsets and carbon credits, the inclusion of carbon capture and storage, and the exclusion of downstream emissions accounting, but we support the goals of this bill and hope to push for those amendments in the Senate after passage through the House. Contact your the Speaker and your Representatives and ask them to vote yes on HB6 so we can continue the fight for improvements.
HB 127 - Storage of Certain Radioactive Waste was sadly tabled in the House today.