I was appalled to see the news that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is pushing hydrogen as a path forward for New Mexico (“Groups worry about governor’s hydrogen hub plan,”

Oct. 6).

A recent peer-reviewed study in Energy Science & Engineering shows that so-called “blue” hydrogen (produced with natural gas) is worse for the climate than coal (bit.ly/307ZatS). The governor needs to listen to New Mexicans who want a livable future, and not the oil and gas industry.



Johnnemann Nordhagen

Santa Fe

Able to choose

I am one of the “older liberal women past their reproductive efficiency” who attended the recent abortion rally in Santa Fe (“Hundreds in Santa Fe rally in support of reproductive freedom,” Oct. 3). In a now-deleted online post, the commenter presumed to speak for my body as well as my spiritual health. I am quite able and willing to determine both for myself as I choose, a word that seems to escape many who believe that sperm should forever be honored and its purpose upheld. Interesting, isn’t it, that men who have not experienced a pregnancy should determine the outcome?

Sandra Schackel

Santa Fe

Choose good but imperfect

So, President Joe Biden’s approval ratings are falling. Why? He got out of a disastrous war in Afghanistan, but not perfectly. He is managing the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, but not perfectly. He is trying to handle a huge influx of immigrants, but not perfectly. He is working with Congress on bills to improve infrastructure, global environment, poverty and voting rights. Here, he faces a Republican stonewall and filibuster plus a Supreme Court packed (without a filibuster) by conservatives. You could say not perfect.

In the midterm elections, voters can vote for the party that is trying to do the right things, but imperfectly, or vote for the party that is strongly opposed to Biden’s agenda. The Republican Party is anxiously awaiting the return of former President Donald Trump, the man who is trying to destroy democracy. People who hate mask and vaccine mandates, love guns, hate women’s right to choose are almost all Republicans. Vote for the good but imperfect over the clearly bad.

Bill Maxon

Santa Fe

Slow down development

Those of us living on the south side have noticed quite a boom in residential construction, with even more planned. This part of Santa Fe is starting to look like Bernalillo. The developers tell the city planners that all this building is to meet demand and to create affordable housing. Affordable for whom? Certainly not the public employees who commute to Santa Fe. As the article (“Average home cost in working-class area $401K,” Oct. 5) points out, available housing is being grabbed by folks from way outside New Mexico. I think it is time to stop the building while this community decides what it wants to look like, how much traffic it can bear and whether it is going to have enough water.

David Komito

Santa Fe

(7) comments

George Kafantaris

Governor Grisham is right, “clean, low-carbon” hydrogen is the “transition fuel of the future.” Her remarks about New Mexico apply to a dozen other states including Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska, Colorado, California, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Like it or not, the men that brought us the fossil fuels that have dangerously warmed our planet are also the ones who can help us cool it -- by making and distributing hydrogen. They "are the ones who will make or break those efforts and policies and will shape [] innovation around the planet."

How?

By using the business model they already have. They can "lead in the hydrogen space with[] the companies and the men and women who are" experienced in gas and oil.

And since there is money in blue hydrogen, they will make it at scale -- to help us cool the earth more quickly and put a dent in climate change.

The environmentalists' objections notwithstanding, we cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. Nor can we allow our pursuit of the perfect hydrogen (green) to get in the way of the good hydrogen (blue) with which we can get things started and build the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen to those that need it.

Khal Spencer

If Howarth and Jacobson are correct, the engineering analysis shows that the Governor's political argle bargle is just that: argle bargle, i.e., hogwash. There is no energy free lunch.

Now if we use nuclear power, sequester the carbon effectively, and have enough water, then maybe this works. But I bet it ain't cheap and there is still an energy cost. With nuclear plants, we could make hydrogen by hydrolysis at the coasts and ship it inland. Plenty of water, and carbon-free energy.

Khal Spencer

I want to thank Johnnemann for that link. My first thought on the Governor's praise of "blue hydrogen" was wanting to get an energy and carbon footprint analysis of this technique, since to crack methane to make hydrogen, you need energy to break the carbon-hydrogen bonds as well as a path forward for the carbon. Oh, and you continue to mine methane. It sounded like another case of praising a nonexistant energy free lunch.

So in case anyone did not click the link provided in the letter, here is the 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.

Richard Reinders

Bill, Biden left thousands behind in Afghanistan including Americans and is doing nothing about it after lying of TV that he would not leave before everyone was out. Biden unraveled the strongest southern board in history purposely. Biden pissed off France to the point they pulled the diplomats from the US, and he was totally unaware according to Kerry. Biden controls the house, senate and the Presidency and not passing infrastructure bill is on his side not the Republicans. Runaway inflation is of Biden’s making.Most of Biden’s issues fall clearly at his feet. You can clearly ignore all the polls if you want.

Richard Reinders

PS. Republicans where on line with the infrastructure bill, it was the Democrats that bailed on signing it.

Denise Jimenez

[thumbup]

Cheryl Odom

David Komito: [thumbup]

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