A proposed hydrogen hub in the western United States has encountered strong opposition from a coalition consisting of indigenous, climate, and environmental justice advocates.
The No False Solutions coalition, based in New Mexico, is urging the Biden administration and the US Department of Energy not to provide funding for the Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub and other planned hydrogen hubs. Instead, the coalition advocates for investments in wind and solar energy rather than hydrogen.
The coalition, led by coordinator Alejandria Lyons, argues that the development of a hydrogen economy will not address the underlying reliance on fossil fuels. Lyons states that the Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub (WISHH) plan will create a public safety crisis and that the US is investing excessively in an insufficiently researched technology. The coalition highlights the potential climate and environmental justice concerns associated with hydrogen development across the United States.
The four states involved in the proposed hub—Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming—are seeking $1.25 billion in federal funds, taking advantage of the Biden administration’s offer of $7 billion to establish 10 regional hydrogen hubs nationwide. As part of the WISHH initiative, these states have proposed eight separate hydrogen projects. The US Department of Energy is currently reviewing applications for hydrogen hubs.
The WISHH concept aims to develop large-scale “clean hydrogen” using a diverse range of feedstock. The plan envisions initial applications of hydrogen in transportation, electricity generation, and agriculture, along with the establishment of infrastructure for hydrogen production, distribution, and storage.