Indigenous communities in New Mexico have long dealt with the negative impacts of experimental energy projects promoted by state and federal governments.
This legislative session, as the state faces a climate crisis that is already disproportionately impacting Indigenous, low-income, and communities of color, the stakes of energy policies are higher than ever.
Why, then, is New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham touting the hydrogen fuel industry, which is nothing short of a scheme to subsidize oil and gas companies and keep the state dangerously reliant on fossil fuels?
The governor’s proposed “Hydrogen Hub Act” promotes hydrogen as a clean energy solution. But 96 percent of hydrogen production in the U.S. requires fossil fuels, and burning hydrogen is worse for the environment than burning coal.
Hydrogen development will only exacerbate the climate crisis the state is facing, while distracting state agencies from investing in meaningful climate solutions and renewable energy projects, like solar and wind.
As leaders in an Indigenous organization whose members and communities would be directly impacted by hydrogen development, we have taken a stand against all false climate solutions in New Mexico, including hydrogen, and are calling on the Governor to stop sacrificing our lands, waters, and communities.
Hydrogen is currently produced using methane gas – the “gas” in oil and gas. Converting methane to hydrogen promotes more fracking in our communities and releases carbon dioxide in the process. To boot, converting methane to hydrogen requires enormous amounts of energy, energy that today mainly comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Where will these fossil fuels come from?