Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called a proposal that would lay the foundation for a hydrogen fuel economy in New Mexico her administration’s “signature piece of legislation” in the 30-day session that begins in January.

But some lawmakers aren’t ready to sign on just yet.

While the proposed Hydrogen Hub Act is among the governor’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session, a number of lawmakers expressed concern Tuesday at the fast pace at which the effort is moving.

“I have so many questions; I have so many concerns,” Rep. Kristina Ortez, D-Taos, said during a discussion about hydrogen at a legislative committee meeting.

Ortez asked whether “front-line communities” are in the loop.

“The communities that we’re talking to, this is really like happening in real time, fast-paced, and we’re having to provide them a lot of the education [and] information,” responded Joseph Hernandez, an organizer for the NAVA Education Project, a nonprofit that provides voter information and education to Native Americans.

Ortez said Hernandez had touched upon the issue “very clearly, which is that it feels very fast, feels like we’re making decisions very, very quickly.”

Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, said New Mexico is “not prepared or at the stage” to begin active hydrogen production and suggested creating a work group to delve into the issue.

“What we need is some planning to address the future and then some of the concerns,” she said.

“I’m thinking that with some leadership, we might want to study plotting the future of hydrogen in our state and setting some minimal standards through this work group before hydrogen production occurs in New Mexico,” Stefanics said.

The governor’s push to make New Mexico the nation’s largest hydrogen fuel hub has sparked opposition from a coalition of environmental, justice and community organizations in New Mexico. The group contends hydrogen derived from fossil gas presents “significant climate and health dangers.”



New Mexico’s first large-scale hydrogen project describes itself as “blue” — harnessing natural gas to divide water to create hydrogen. A recent study by Cornell and Stanford universities found the process generates 20 percent more carbon emissions than burning natural gas or coal for heat.

“We simply cannot afford to create new climate pollution,” Camilla Feibelman, director of the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement in October. “Even the more optimistic ‘blue hydrogen’ proposals aspire to only 90 percent carbon capture. When scaled up to the level of production that fossil industries are aiming for, that 10 percent creates a significant climate impact. For electricity, renewable energy and storage can do the job more efficiently and affordably with zero carbon emissions — not 10 percent, but zero.”

The Lujan Grisham administration is moving full-steam ahead.

The state Environment Department said it September it would be asking for funding in the fiscal year 2023 budget “to establish New Mexico as a world-class, clean hydrogen hub focusing on the production, consumption and export of clean hydrogen.”

“In doing so,” the department wrote in a news release, “New Mexico will seek its share of the $8 billion proposed for clean hydrogen in the federal infrastructure bill and the estimated $300 billion in clean hydrogen capital investments expected by 2030.”

Julie McNamara, a senior energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told lawmakers Tuesday “the news of hydrogen” has taken many by surprise over the past year.

“This is an industry-driven effort,” she said. “This is a fossil fuel industry driven effort, more specifically.”

Sen. Carrie Hamblen, D-Las Cruces, said Tuesday’s discussion was the third the Legislature’s Economic Development and Policy Committee has had on “blue” hydrogen.

“This is something that has come down on us rather quickly,” said Hamblen, who chairs the committee. “In some cases, [it] feels like it might be a little too fast or too rushed and that we have opportunities that we’re not exploring.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(51) comments

Laddie Mills

Oil and gas’s blue hydrogen adventure is beginning to smell as bad as their plan to replace our dying fresh water supplies with recycled produced water! What ever happened to NEPA and doing the science first?

Dennis McQuillan

Everyone should know that there are many brilliant scientists and engineers working on the issues discussed here: hydrogen production and use, carbon sequestration, treatment and use of produced oil field water. It is likely that there are some processes and technologies looking us right in the face that have yet to be discovered or developed. Processes to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere were inefficient until the Allies blockaded Chilean nitrate from Germany in WWI. Then, German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch developed a new process to produce ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen for use in munitions. There are some future Nobel Laureates among us. We need to let them do their work to explore all options for solving these problems. A working group to deep dive into hydrogen, as suggested by Senator Stefanics, is a good next move.

Khal Spencer

That's true. The Haber Process is now the most important industrial ammonia making process in the world. I am sure we will refine technologies for other things that face us, which is why I'm not as panicked by the idea of climate change as some. Still, one wants to hedge one's bets a little bit until that Eureka moment proves itself.

John McDivitt

I wondeer what the REAL expert (Greta Thunberg) thinks about this?

Mike Johnson

Interesting you should mention her, she is smarter than many would think about this subject: “Most models assume that future generations will somehow be able to suck hundreds of billions of CO2 out of the air with technologies that do not exist today in the scale that is required, and perhaps never will,” Thunberg said."

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/greta-thunberg-davos-speech

And she retweeted this article: ”Plans to take carbon dioxide out of the air are becoming a giant loophole - just as experts have warned for years.”: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-15/too-many-companies-are-banking-on-carbon-capture-to-reach-net-zero

And this: "Greta Thunberg is right: we need to stop relying on unproven technologies to fuel our carbon addiction."

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/greta-thunberg-climate-change-technologies-carbon-emissions-eu-a9380141.html

Philip Taccetta

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Jim Klukkert

thanks Mike for posting these links.

Mike Johnson

You're welcome, and people should wake up and realize what is going on in Scotland right now at COP26 (MLG's latest political party junket trip), that is something else Greta is correct about........"Speaking on the sidelines of the summit meeting, known as COP26, the 18-year-old Ms. Thunberg said the event was “sort of turning into a greenwash campaign, a P.R. campaign,” for business leaders and politicians.

“Since we are so far from what actually we needed, I think what would be considered a success would be if people realize what a failure this COP is,” Ms. Thunberg said."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/04/climate/greta-thunberg-cop26.html

Paul Gibson

Retake Our Democracy just published an analysis of the issues involving hydrogen production, citing numerous red flgs. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86475400461

christopher quintana

E fuels, hydrogen, batteries for transportation explained well:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0d0MPg7DxbY

Erich Kuerschner

hmmm.. Looks like a disguised subsidy to the hydrocarbon industry to me.

Mike Johnson

This is about as stupid a scheme as thinking you can suck CO2 out of the air or recycle produced oil field water. MLG comes up with odd things, not following the science at all.

Robert Fields

Sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere is a stupid scheme? Not following the science? Now Mike, behind in this subject too?

There is a demonstration project up and running right now in Iceland. The current world’s largest carbon sequestration installation. It was turned on a few months ago.

Their technology works. It depends on Iceland’s geology and so likely can’t be replicated in many other locations, but as a paleogeologist or whatever you call yourself, it might not be beyond you to understand what they are doing. It’s also not huge but it’s a start. A lot of our current issues with global warming started with the first steamship to leave dry dock and the first Model T to roll off the line.

It’s admittedly way behind carbon emissions. But they are developing the technology to be used large scale to start turning back the emissions clock once emissions themselves are greatly reduced.

That’s not the only project underway. There are a number of others. One barrier is energy and Iceland has lots of geothermal energy available. Other projects use solar. It’s all looking for the lowest energy path to carbon sequestration. Lots of science involved there too.

I don’t know enough to comment on the recycled oil field water, but if you’re against it or think it won’t work either, with your track record it stands a great chance of being viable and a good thing. You ought to at least check to see if something is already up and running before declaring it impossible to to or not science or whatever point it was you were trying to make.

https://www.ecowatch.com/carbon-capture-plant-iceland-2654967188.html

Khal Spencer

I went to that link. It says the Iceland plant can pull 4,000 tons per year of CO2 out of the air. we release 43 billion tons per year. That means almost 11 million of these plants. Sure, this is a prototype but we are assuming a lot.

As Greg Mello said below, one has to ask what the cost/benefit of this will be and how the costs and benefits will be distributed, even if it is feasible. As Greg said, like money, power will run uphill.

My concern is that people are being lured into thinking we will get an energy free lunch, free of negative consequences to either climate or environmental/energy justice and with no thought to the energy and resource costs of these ideas. I simply have my doubts.

As far as water, one can recycle some pretty gruesome water. The question is not whether it can be done, but how much it costs to do it and whether the costs make it unaffordable to all but those who can spend millions for a half hour joyride in space.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Well stated Khal, and since I have graduate degrees in geoscience AND economics, I find most of these wild schemes to be ridiculous when you do the math, which obviously Mr. Fields is incapable of doing, pity.

Robert Fields

I don’t support putting public money into hydrogen infrastructure so Bezos and Musk can keep selling space rides. They both have benefitted greatly from public infrastructure and money and as with the oil companies, it’s time to close that tap.

But the reality is that we have to approach carbon in the atmosphere from both ends - production and removal. We need to grow removal and cut production. Besides, we’re running out of oil and gas anyway. Forgetting about the climate, fossil fuels aren’t being made anymore and we’re rapidly depleting reserves. We have to stop using them one day anyway. As for sequestration, it’s the only way we can roll back the clock. That is just a pilot project but it is proving the technology. Iceland has the energy and the geology to do it the way they are doing it, but other locations have their own unique resources. Here it’s solar with a wind cherry.

As to the energy free lunch, I saw one talk where the researchers were talking about the impacts windmills have on weather downwind. They change it. Get enough windmills taking energy out of the wind and the weather can change appreciably. US windmills have the potential to change the weather in Europe, European windmills further downstream, etc. There isn’t a free lunch. I’m well aware of that. Solar panels add heat to their environment too. Nice dark surfaces and all and only about a 20% energy conversion. White roofs are much better at reflecting sunlight back out to minimize heat gain at the surface. So yeah, no free lunch and tradeoffs with everything.

The only thing is we cannot do nothing. We are already well along the trajectory to an uninhabitable planet. We have to start tackling problems and the sooner we do that the better off we’ll all be. That means cutting our use of fossil fuels, building out sequestration (and trees, bushes, and grasses are all sequestration of a sort), and moving to energy sources that don’t produce CO2 (or nuclear waste).

Robert Fields

Yeah, Mike. You mean like how you already concluded handing the next generations a livable planet isn’t cost effective? That kind of economics?

None of this stuff breaks the bank. Economies are based on producing and consuming, aren’t they? So what if it’s not some new Corvette and is instead a section of a solar installation? Solar and wind create better and more jobs than the oil field ever did. And while you use the energy produced, you aren’t killing the planet and stealing futures from children.

Your economics seem based on whatever benefits you the most. You’ve said it here and I referenced it at the start - you don’t think anything but staying our present course is “economical”. You don’t care that the planet becomes uninhabitable under your ideal path forward. Meanwhile you totally ignore and even fight against common sense things for the public good. I’ll never understand why you insist on pushing for people to always make the wrong decisions.

Mike Johnson

For you Mr. Fields....https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/what-is-carbon-capture-and-storage/

Mike Johnson

Mr. Fields, you really should read some economics research around global warming mitigation and response. I direct you to no other than native New Mexican Dr. William Nordhaus' Nobel Prize winning work in this area. I have pointed this out before, and you have refused to read it apparently, so let me give you some quotes: "Many people were thrilled when they heard that the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics this year (2018) went to William Nordhaus of Yale University, a man known for his work on climate change. Finally, the economics profession is giving climate the attention it deserves, just as the world is waking up to the severity of our ecological emergency. Media outlets have taken this positive narrative and run with it.

But while Nordhaus may be revered among economists, climate scientists and ecologists have a very different opinion of his legacy. In fact, many believe that the failure of the world’s governments to pursue aggressive climate action over the past few decades is in large part due to arguments that Nordhaus has advanced."

And: "The models showed that if we were to rapidly reduce carbon emissions in line with what scientists say is necessary to avoid climate breakdown – by putting a high tax on carbon, for instance – it would significantly slow down the rate of economic growth. As far as scientists are concerned, that’s not a problem; we should obviously do whatever it takes to avoid climate catastrophe. But for economists like Nordhaus, this is not acceptable. After all, the whole point of neoclassical economics is to do whatever it takes to grow economic output."

In addition: "So, Nordhaus’ career has been devoted to finding what he calls a “balance” between climate mitigation and GDP growth. In a famous 1991 paper titled “To slow or not to slow,” he argued firmly for the latter option: Let’s not be too eager to slow down global warming, because we don’t want to jeopardize growth. Using this logic, Nordhaus long claimed that from the standpoint of “economic rationality” it is “optimal” to keep warming the planet to about 3.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels—vastly in excess of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold that the IPCC insists on.

It sounds morally problematic and flies in the face of scientists’ warnings, but economists and policymakers have lined up behind Nordhaus’s argument."

And in conclusion: "So how do economists get away with believing that these extreme temperatures are somehow okay? Because the Nordhaus model tells us that even the worst catastrophes will not really hurt the global economy all that much. Maybe a percentage point or two at the most, by the end of the century—much less than the cost of immediate action."

I also referenced the IPCC SSPs, that show the same conclusion, no "Mad Max" future state of our planet at all, even in the highest warming scenarios they can dream up.

So you see, the economics are the issue here, and are as or more important than inexact, dire model projections, speculations, and hallucinations of climate effects that are not proven in the past data, nor are they being witnessed today in any proven cause/effect scientific analysis. Enjoy!

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/06/the-nobel-prize-for-climate-catastrophe/

Khal Spencer

Hi Robert

That is sort of my point--we cannot do nothing, but we have to start by saying eight to ten billion humans can't all "See the USA in your Chevrolet", i.e., live a high energy lifestyle and somehow think that technology will make it all OK. I think we have to do all of the above.

That said, as you say, we are depleting fossil fuels far faster than past forms of life created it. We are living an industrial revolution paid for by all of life forms from roughly the Carboniferous onward and burning it up orders of magnitude faster than it was created. So now we want to create our own energy and fuels. We have to remember, as far as a hydrogen economy, that water is water for a reason, for example. It will take a lot of energy to break those H-O bonds and make hydrogen so we can---drum roll--burn it back into water. With all of the thermodynamic and industrial inefficiencies for a topping.

There is no free lunch. I think we agree on that. Humanity has to scale back or cook in the cooking pot we have set up for ourselves.

Robert Fields

Mike, you cite economics.

“Among them are economists Nick Stern of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change, author of a landmark 2006 study that concluded the benefits of strong and early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of inaction, and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University.”

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211103-the-most-important-number-youve-never-heard-of

Paul Gibson

All of these techno fantasies are designed to allow corporations to continue to produce more and more of most everything, anything that furthers their profits. The alternative to techno fantasies is to produce less, live with less, and simply live more sustainably.

Bruce Taylor

Robert Fields, you are correct on all counts. This is one of the rarest of opportunities to transition this state's economy to a clean(er) energy future from carbon-heavy fossil fuels. Legislators who feel this is being rushed, need to feel they are in a rush. And need to move to quickly do the reading readily available from multiple sources, not sit on their hands waiting for someone else to adequately inform them. Governor Lujan-Grisham is right to take this on now. This is what forward-looking leadership in a time of great climate change needs looks like. Get informed fast. Don't just stand in the way.

Paul Gibson

We don't often agree, Mike, but on this, I am solidly with you. And thanks for giving Greta her due in the earlier comment on COP26.

Mike Peterson

The whole plan sounds like a get rich quickly scam. But, I wouldn’t expect anything else from our governor.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Just more pay for play corruption in NM politics.

Dennis McQuillan

The NM State Legislature is justified in putting the brakes on blue hydrogen.

"How green is blue hydrogen?"

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ese3.956

As the authors note, blue hydrogen has large climatic consequences and will not help society move away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.

Senator Stefanics' suggestion for a work group is helpful. The work group also should look at "green hydrogen" produced by electrolysis using renewable energy, rather than using natural gas to make blue hydrogen.

Khal Spencer

Dennis, is this the Cornell/Stanford study you linked? Good read! Here is the abstract which is written in lay terms.

How green is blue hydrogen?

Robert W. Howarth, Mark Z. Jacobson

Energy Science and Engineering

First published: 12 August 2021

Abstract

Hydrogen is often viewed as an important energy carrier in a future decarbonized world. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of methane in natural gas (“gray hydrogen”), with high carbon dioxide emissions. Increasingly, many propose using carbon capture and storage to reduce these emissions, producing so-called “blue hydrogen,” frequently promoted as low emissions. We undertake the first effort in a peer-reviewed paper to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen accounting for emissions of both carbon dioxide and unburned fugitive methane. Far from being low carbon, greenhouse gas emissions from the production of blue hydrogen are quite high, particularly due to the release of fugitive methane. For our default assumptions (3.5% emission rate of methane from natural gas and a 20-year global warming potential), total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for blue hydrogen are only 9%-12% less than for gray hydrogen. While carbon dioxide emissions are lower, fugitive methane emissions for blue hydrogen are higher than for gray hydrogen because of an increased use of natural gas to power the carbon capture. Perhaps surprisingly, the greenhouse gas footprint of blue hydrogen is more than 20% greater than burning natural gas or coal for heat and some 60% greater than burning diesel oil for heat, again with our default assumptions. In a sensitivity analysis in which the methane emission rate from natural gas is reduced to a low value of 1.54%, greenhouse gas emissions from blue hydrogen are still greater than from simply burning natural gas, and are only 18%-25% less than for gray hydrogen. Our analysis assumes that captured carbon dioxide can be stored indefinitely, an optimistic and unproven assumption. Even if true though, the use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.

Dennis McQuillan

Yes, Khal, this is the excellent paper that many have been referring to. Be sure to read section 5 of the paper for some hard-hitting conclusions that are not in the abstract.

Khal Spencer

Read Sec. 5. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for blue hydrogen.

Bruce Taylor

"Blue" hydrogen, by definition, isn't "green" hydrogen but is significantly easier to deal with its production CO2 emissions than either "Brown" hydrogen (coal-fired production) or "Gray" hydrogen. However, the industrial carbon capture and sequestration (storage) from the natural gas used in the process is highly feasible.

Khal Spencer

Costs?

Khal Spencer

You can make "green" hydrogen if you start with a carbon-free or almost carbon-free energy source (my assumption is traditional energy is used to create the carbon free source) for splitting a water molecule,e.g., solar, wind, nuclear. But still, one is using energy to bust water molecules. Then you can store the hydrogen in fuel cell. Nice little explanation here. The advantage over EV is the refueling time is about the same as going to the gas station.

https://www.ieafuelcell.com/index.php?id=33

Still, I wonder why we would try to make hydrogen out of natural gas if it results in more emissions, where we will get the water, and hydrogen safety, given its low flash point and wide upper and lower explosion limit. One would not want to end up like Lt. Neil Briggs in Magnum Force. A governor has *got* to know a technology's limitations...

All questions I would want to have answered before we dive into this. The fast tracking suggests to me one of two possibilities. One, there is a lot of lobbying money funneling into this boondoggle. Two, the Gov. wants to push this through before the elections as some sort of magic carpet ride for New Mexico, before the public realizes we've been snookered.

Greg Mello

"Blue hydrogen" -- a technology package which does not exist -- provides neither a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions over just burning natural gas (as this article points out) NOR ANY NET ENERGY, as the energy in the natural gas will be entirely consumed in the process of a) producing the hydrogen, b) compressing and chilling the hydrogen, c) separating, compressing, and injecting the carbon dioxide in what is hoped will be an intact reservoir at depth, d) transporting the hydrogen, and e) Carnot inefficiencies in using the hydrogen in any engine. So it's an energy sink, not a transformation, like an unlined ditch for water in the sand. The water will never make it to the garden. So-called "green hydrogen" has many of the same problems, starting with the energy inefficiency of its production. The embodied energy of the equipment, pipelines, new engines and vehicles etc. will be large in both cases -- very large, and this will translate into unaffordability, a hint that at the underlying thermodynamic problems. Fuel cells require lots of rare materials (e.g. platinum), despite decades of research aiming at minimizing this. The upshot is that "green hydrogen," which requires a huge infrastructure that does not exist and can, in the best case, provide users with only a small fraction of the energy put into the process, implies either a vastly oversized renewable energy infrastructure (with its own embodied energy and pollution along the supply chain) to feed it, or else the hydrogen, and the benefits of it, become available to only a few. If it worked at all, the extreme inefficiencies of hydrogen imply, in the best case, a radically unequal society in which the remaining population in the source regions become the new "energy serfs." There wouldn't be enough for all but a few people. Energy, like water, will run steeply uphill to enough money, if the infrastructure were ever created to allow that.

The Governor's hydrogen plans (which come from DOE and those who might profit from the schemes, including the oil and gas industry, those hungry for DOE grants, and politicians looking to placate oil and gas) would be merely silly, or stupid, if the opportunity costs were not so high for the state. Hydrogen, in any color, is extremely bad public policy. This sketch doesn't include all the wrong turns in creating such a policy, which start with the assumption we can have a real energy transition with actually changing much. Many will howl, but the future will be simpler than it is now.

Meanwhile the same people who are promoting this scheme are also promoting an $18 billion plutonium warhead factory for LANL this decade. That's enough money to supply a high-end 4 kW PV kit to every household in NM three times over, just to give an idea of what it could buy. Or 5,000 new teachers at 60K/yr for 10 years -- SIX TIMES OVER. All these new corporate schemes, like hydrogen, are in a way distractions from the massive corporate giveaways already underway to predatory segments of our economy, above all so-called "defense." The $3.7 billion coming to NM under the new infrastructure bill just passed is just 6% of the nuclear weapons budget that will be spent in NM over the coming decade. Wake up, sheeple.

Khal Spencer

Greg, write this up as a Commentary. Thank you.

Erich Kuerschner

Well said. PLEASE, PLEASE wake up folks.

Barry Rabkin

I am happy to read from your comments that the NM nuclear weapons budget is so large. Great news ! Seriously. We need our military to have the most lethal capability on the planet. (Yes, seriously.)

Mike Johnson

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Robert Fields

I agree with the thoughts about using hydrogen derived from natural gas in Carnot cycle engines. It’s a total waste of time. Just run engines on natural gas and you’re more efficient. The better way is as Khal said - hydrogen or other fuels created using renewable energies.

But the hydrogen infrastructure that doesn’t exist isn’t that different from the electric vehicle charging infrastructure that not too long ago didn’t exist either. Presumably hydrogen or whatever other solar-derived fuels would initially see fleet deployments with central fueling stations, and fueling stations could be also located along highways, railways, etc.

The other thing is both trucks and locomotives rarely shut down. They, and other energy sources like stationary fuel cells, aren’t like automobiles which start and stop frequently. That start and stop frequently bit complicates the use of fuels cells in passenger vehicles and pushes them to the more expensive platinum catalysts. For cells that stay running, it opens the door to other fuel cell technologies that could be (and are) viable in those applications that use little to no platinum and instead use cheaper and more plentiful other materials. That same lab you like to go after has done a lot of research into that area.

But I do agree that getting hydrogen from natural gas is a boondoggle. It’s only value might be as a bridge to large scale hydrogen generation using solar and wind energy.

I disagree that hydrogen in and of itself is a waste of time. There are indeed pumping losses with high pressure helium and low pressure storage using things like misch metal is heavy and expensive. But there has been lots of research into other storage technologies that provide lots of storage at low pressures with low weight. On a weight basis, hydrogen is the highest energy practical chemical fuel source there is. The problem is just getting large amounts in small and lightweight storage. But it is being worked on.

Whether the state of NM ought to be looking at it is another question. I’d rather see more solar and a more robust EV charging network with charging stations deployed at tourist locations, near restaurants, shops and at hotels, so NM wouldn’t be intimidating to cross-country drivers.

As to nuclear weapons, as Russia and China both get more aggressive, I’m kind of glad we have them. They are all accidents waiting to happen or the tools of Armageddon if they are ever used, but until all other nuclear states give them up, we unfortunately need them as a deterrent to aggression. Both Russia and China have been upgrading and even creating new weapons systems. I know there won’t be any convincing you of the need to have them, and it’s impossible to know what would happen if we didn’t have them but these other states did, but I just don’t see a way to disarm without the world changing drastically in favor of governments I personally don’t care for.

Khal Spencer

All good points.

Bruce Taylor

While you sound well reasoned Greg Mello, I think you are not adequately informed on the state of the Blue Carbon development, likely most acutely on the actual state of carbon capture and sequestration. While many, if not most of us have a bias against "big oil/gas," This rare opportunity presents itself for New Mexico to lead in the industrial production of hydrogen using natural gas as the energy source required for the separation process of hydrogen from oxygen, with the modern industrial science on carbon capture/sequestration making the process both scalable and economically viable. At the same moment, it allows for further development of truly "green hydrogen" technology. This is a winning position for New Mexico to be in. Your "wake up, sheeple" comment sadly places you in the realm of the uninformed, and further reduces the validity of your concerns. We all owe it to ourselves to not be reactionary to new technology because we don't fully understand it.

Khal Spencer

Greg, Dennis, Mike, and Robert are some pretty sharp minds here. So what are your credentials, Bruce, for being the King of Snark?

Philip Taccetta

I’m suspect of any energy source that is backed by the fossil fuel industry.

There’s a reason that hydrogen has been considered as an alternative fuel and that idea has been discarded by most knowledgeable people. They are against it for all the reasons stated in this article. MLG is absolutely wrong on this call!

Bruce Taylor

Please read the state of science and technology on hydrogen, and understand what it is today versus what you think it is. That's sloppy opinionating without being informed.

Khal Spencer

Someone must be lining the pockets of our esteemed governor and key legislators in order to push this energy free lunch boondoggle through on the fast track.

Follow the science? Gee, I thought that was our governor's mantra about Covid. As the Cornell and Stanford (both top notch universities) study states, there is no free lunch. We would be about 20% better off to just burn the natural gas for traditional purposes than use it to perform electrolysis on water to make hydrogen which then gets burned. Everything takes energy to perform.

I would first review and replicate that study. Like the magic free fuel we get from using ethanol in car fuel, this is more mirage than magnificent.

Oh, and aren't we already short on water, anyway?

Khal Spencer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_reforming

Philip Taccetta

The respondents to this article are far more educated than I am. It still doesn’t matter how the hydrogen is produced. The fact is building the infrastructure for production and distribution makes it a non starter. We have electricity available in all areas of our nation and the beginning of EV charging stations in most areas. To distribute hydrogen will be a massive undertaking. We already have electricity in the grid and it just flows through wires. No trucks needed. We’ll get used to charging our EV’s while we eat or shop.

Khal Spencer

Oh, hydrogen out of water (steam) and methane. The link below is correct.

Mike Johnson

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christopher quintana

Hydrogen for what? our growing fleet of dirigibles? Hydrogen from fossil fuels is a bad idea. And what runs on hydrogen besides a California Honda Insight or Toyota’s Mirai? We need to work on battery tech and carbon recapture.

Khal Spencer

My understanding is the fueling time for a hydrogen vehicle is much faster than charging an EV. So if you can safely store enough hydrogen in a vehicle to get a decent range, it might be more attractive to long distance transportation, either private or commercial. Storage is well studied. For example,

https://www.fuelcellstore.com/hydrogen-equipment/hydrogen-storage/metal-hydrides

The question remains, as Robert Fields, Greg Mello, and that peer reviewed study all ask, what are the true cost/benefits of hydrogen, esp. hydrogen produced from methane using traditional power sources as the energy input? Rushing this through without a painstaking review sets off alarm bells in this reader.

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