Hydrogen Hype's Physics Problem

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 18 Oct 2023 13:59:00 GMT

Hydrogen The Biden administration is spending billions on the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy, even recently celebrating Hydrogen Day on October 8 (because hydrogen’s atomic weight is 1.008) to “mark a symbolic opportunity to celebrate hydrogen—clean hydrogen, specifically—and the crucial role this element plays in supporting a robust, equitable clean energy future for all Americans.”

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen as a fuel source, climate journalists such as David Gelles gush.

The only problem is that “clean hydrogen,” also known as “green hydrogen”—that is, hydrogen gas generated using renewable electricity—isn’t particularly “clean” or “green,” although it’s less polluting than “gray” and “blue” hydrogen, produced from natural gas.

Unfortunately, even “green” hydrogen is a powerful greenhouse pollutant.

As an important paper from Environmental Defense Fund scientists Ilissa Ocko and Steven Hamburg explains, hydrogen is unavoidably leaky, because it’s such a small molecule, and like methane, has a high short-term warming effect. In fact, one of hydrogen’s main warming effects is to increase the atmospheric lifetime of methane. Methane breaks down in contact with the hydroxyl (OH) radical formed when ultraviolet light interacts with ozone (O₃) and water vapor (H₂O). Hydroxyl also reacts with hydrogen molecules (H₂), so significant hydrogen pollution means atmospheric methane doesn’t break down. Thus, Ocko and Hamburg find:

Hydrogen’s 100-year greenhouse warming potential (GWP) is twice as high as previously thought, and its 20-year GWP is 3 times higher than its 100-year GWP. Hydrogen’s maximum GWP occurs around 7 years after the initial pulse of emissions, with a range of 25 to 60 based on uncertainties, and a central estimate of 40.

In short, “green” hydrogen isn’t.

Regulating Small Offshore Energy Producers

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 28 Sep 2023 14:00:00 GMT

Subcommittee on Rural Development, Energy, and Supply Chains hearing: “Energy Independence: How Burdensome Regulations are Crushing Small Offshore Energy Producers”

Chair: Wesley Hunt (R-Texas)

  • Mike Minarovic, Chief Executive Officer, Arena Energy, LLC
  • Paul Danos, Chairman of the Board, National Ocean Industries Association
  • Alex Epstein, President, Center for Industrial Progress
  • Kathleen Nisbet Moncy, Chief Operating Officer, Goose Point Oyster

July Open Meeting

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Jul 2023 14:00:00 GMT

Open Meeting

Commission meeting are held in Commission Meeting Room (Room 2C) at FERC Headquarters, 888 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426

Meeting agenda
Item No. Docket No. Company
A-1AD23-1-000Agency Administrative Matters
A-2AD23-2-000Customer Matters, Reliability, Security and Market Operations
E-1RM22-14-000Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements
E-2RM22-19-001Incentives for AdvancedCybersecurity Investment
E-3ER22-2355-000GridLiance Heartland LLC
E-4ER22-2354-000GridLiance High Plains LLC
E-5ER22-2353-000Florida Power & Light Company
E-6ER22-2466-000Cube Yadkin Transmission LLC
E-7ER22-2358-001Versant Power
E-8ER22-2304-000Nevada Power Company
E-9ER22-2307-000Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company
E-10ER21-2592-000Pacific Gas and Electric Company
EL23-24-000 (not consolidated)CXA La Paloma, LLC v. California Independent System Operator Corporation
E-11EL23-69-000Secure-the-Grid Coalition
E-12EL23-43-000arGo Partners GP LLC
E-13EL23-41-000arGo Partners GP LLC
E-14ER23-729-001PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.
H-1P-2290-124Southern California Edison Company
H-2P-14634-007New England Hydropower Company, LLC
C-1CP22-25-000Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC
C-2CP20-55-000Port Arthur LNG Phase II, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC
C-3CP22-2-000Gas Transmission Northwest LLC
C-4CP22-494-000Boardwalk Storage Company, LLC
C-5CP22-15-000Texas Eastern Transmission, LP
C-6CP22-466-000WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.
C-7CP22-138-000Northern Natural Gas Company
C-8CP22-461-000Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC

Public Hearing on EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants, Day One

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 13 Jun 2023 15:00:00 GMT

EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on June 13, 14 and 15, 2023, to provide the public the opportunity to present comments and information regarding the Agency’s proposal for carbon pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Hearing dates
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Thursday, June 15, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time

Register to speak by visiting this link

Registration closes June 6, 2023. Each speaker will have 4 minutes to speak.

Those who wish to listen but not speak at the hearing do not need to register. A link to view the hearing will be available here before the hearing begins.

EPA considers all comments equally, whether submitted in writing to the docket, or given orally at a public hearing. EPA will take written comment on the proposal until July 24, 2023.


EPA is proposing Clean Air Act standards and guidelines to limit emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants based on cost-effective and available control technologies. The proposals would set limits for new gas-fired combustion turbines, existing coal, oil and gas-fired steam generating units, and certain existing gas-fired combustion turbines.

Consistent with EPA’s traditional approach to establishing pollution standards for power plants under section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the proposed standards are based on technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration/storage, low-GHG hydrogen co-firing, and natural gas co-firing, which can be applied directly to power plants that use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

As laid out in section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the proposed new source performance standards and emission guidelines reflect the application of the best system of emission reduction that, taking into account costs, energy requirements, and other statutory factors, is adequately demonstrated for the purpose of improving the emissions performance of the covered electric generating units.

Proposal and fact sheets

The Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: FEMA’s Perspective

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 28 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT

Hearing on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

  • David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator, Federal Insurance Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Hearing memo

Floods are the most common, most expensive, and most deadly natural disaster that communities across the United States experience. Reports reveal approximately 90 percent of all U.S. natural disasters also involve flooding from any number of sources, including inland flooding, flash floods, and flooding from seasonal storms.

While such events have long been a concern, recent experiences have shown that flooding has become both more frequent and severe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 50+ year old National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is by far the nation’s leading provider of flood insurance coverage, has experienced two of its top five, four of its top ten, and ten of its top 20 costliest flood events all in the last decade alone.

Previously, the NFIP dealt with only two $1+ billion flood events prior to its most costly flood, which was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, the NFIP has experienced eight $1+ billion flood events.

The NFIP’s last formal 5-year reauthorization expired at the end of September 2017. Since then, the NFIP has been subject to three brief lapses and 25 short-term extensions, nearly all of which have been enacted as a part of the congressional appropriations process and not through legislation initiated by the Financial Services Committee.

Plastics and Human Health: Understanding the Risks

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Apr 2023 18:00:00 GMT

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) presents findings of the new report from the Mindaroo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Public Health.

Please join for a briefing to review the findings of the new report on the impacts of plastics on human health. The authors of the report will describe the health and environmental implications of plastic at every stage of its lifecycle, including recommendations for the United Nations Global Plastics Treaty.

Thursday, April 27th, 2:00pm ET 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building


Legislative Field Hearing on H.R. 215 "WATER for California Act" and H.R. 872 "FISH Act"

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 11 Apr 2023 21:00:00 GMT

On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. PDT, at the World Ag Expo, 4500 S Laspina St # 214, Tulare, CA 93274, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a legislative field hearing on the following bills:

  • H.R. 215 (Rep. Valadao) “Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms for California Act” or the “WATER for California Act”.
  • H.R. 872 (Rep. Calvert) “Federally Integrated Species Health Act” or the “FISH Act”.

Hearing memo

Invited witnesses:
  • Debra Haaland, Secretary, Department of the Interior (or their designees from the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Gina Raimondo, Secretary, Department of Commerce (or their designee from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • Charlton Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Tony DeGroot, Farmer, DG Bar Ranches, Hanford, California
  • Aaron Fukuda, General Manager, Tulare Irrigation District, Tulare, California
  • Jason Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Friant Water Authority, Lindsay, California
  • Jeff Sutton, General Manager, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, Willows, California
  • Chris White, Executive Director, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, Los Banos, California
  • Additional witnesses TBA

H.R. 215, sponsored by the entire House California Republican delegation, extends West-wide water storage provisions such as Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (Subtitle J of Public Law 114-322) through December 31, 2028. Some of the projects authorized under these provisions include: Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project in California (additional 634,000 AF of storage), Sites Reservoir Storage Project in California (1.5 million AF of storage), Los Vaqueros Reservoir Phase 2 Expansion in California (additional 115,000 AF of storage), Cle Elum Pool Raise in Washington state (additional 14,600 AF of storage) and Anderson Ranch Dam Raise in Idaho (additional 29,000 AF of storage). The WIIN provision allows a non-governmental entity to request and be the non-federal partner for federally owned surface storage projects.

In addition, the bill would require the CVP and SWP to be operated consistent with the 2019 BiOps and Preferred Alternative, set during the Trump administration. The bill would allow for modification of CVP and SWP operations based on any agreement that is reached on a voluntary basis with CVP and SWP water contractors. It would also prohibit any water supply costs from being imposed on any entity due to agreements with other parties unless voluntarily agreed to.

In addition, the bill would require the federal government to provide the maximum amount of water practicable to CVP and SWP water contractors consistent with the 2019 BiOps. The bill includes safeguards for SWP water contractors. Specifically, if California reduces water supplies to SWP water contractors as a result of actions directed by H.R. 215, then any increase of water supplies received by CVP water contractors must be divided between the two projects. H.R. 215 would amend the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, P.L. 117-58) to make the Shasta Dam Raise eligible to receive water storage project funding in that law. IIJA included $1.15 billion for storage projects but made the Shasta Project ineligible. Lastly, it would direct the Secretary of the Interior to complete the fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration programs required under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA or P.L. 102-575) within 2 years of enactment of this Act.

H.R. 872, authored by Representative Calvert (R-CA), has six cosponsors: Reps. Jim Costa (DCA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Mike Simpson (RID) and Michelle Steele (R-CA). H.R. 872 would consolidate the ESA functions of NOAA and the Department of the Interior (Interior) relating to the conservation of anadromous and catadromous fish, making Interior solely responsible for managing these species. This legislation will allow one wildlife management agency (USFWS) to evaluate impacts on species interacting in a shared ecosystem and determine a holistic management approach.

Webinar: Green motoring means more than going electric

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 05 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT

Webinar: Green motoring means more than going electric

Mighty Earth and The Sunrise Project host a media webinar which will explain the importance of addressing the climate and human rights impacts across auto supply chains and the likely impact the industry could have on curbing emissions.

Many of the big manufacturers are heavily promoting their electric vehicles (EVs), but green motoring means more than just going electric. New analysis for the industry evaluates 18 of the world’s leading automakers on their efforts to eliminate emissions, environmental harm, and human rights violations from their supply chains. It found that although several big brands are sourcing fossil-free aluminum and steel, over half have shown no progress on steel, the biggest industrial metal climate culprit. Worryingly, two thirds have no commitment to Indigenous or First Nation rights in their supply chains for aluminum, steel and lithium for electric batteries.

This timely online media event will explain the importance of addressing the climate and human rights impacts across auto supply chains and the likely impact the industry could have in curbing emissions. The webinar is geared towards both specialist and non-specialist media; panelists will explain the broader impact the auto industry could have on driving down global emissions if all components in the auto supply chain were sourced and manufactured sustainably.

In the second half of the session, panelists will take questions from the media. All discussions will be on the record.

  • Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch
  • Kate R. Finn, First Peoples Worldwide
  • Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth
  • Chris Alford, The Sunrise Project
  • Laura Murphy, Sheffield Hallam University

The Peoples' EJ Roundtable

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 29 Mar 2023 21:00:00 GMT

On Wednesday, March 29, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( FERC) is hosting a so-called Environmental Justice Forum throughout the day. Because we don’t think that the FERC forum will produce the results frontline advocates require nor was the event organized to ensure frontline and community-based organizations were truly respected, heard, and included, we’re hosting our own Peoples’ Environmental Justice Roundtable from 5-7p at Busboys & Poets, 450 K St NW, in Washington, DC and online to uplift the voices of communities that are impacted everyday by FERC’s decisions (food and music 5-6p, panel from 6-7p).

At the Peoples’ EJ Roundtable, we’ll spotlight the amazing work happening to challenge the rush to build new LNG and pipelines led by people from frontline communities who are building toward a future without LNG. Leaders will speak about their communities and will have space to reflect on what occurred during the day at the FERC event. Come enjoy great music, food, and conversation as we work toward a day where FERC is an agency that centers climate and environmental justice in its decision making.

Please join us to listen to and support our frontline leaders.

If your organization is interested in crossposting the livestream, please email [email protected]

Roundtable on Environmental Justice and Equity in Infrastructure Permitting

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 29 Mar 2023 13:30:00 GMT

This Commissioner-led roundtable will provide an opportunity for the Commissioners and staff to engage with environmental justice community members, advocates, researchers, industry representatives, and government leaders on actions the Commission can take to better incorporate environmental justice and equity considerations into its decisions.

This discussion will strengthen the Commission’s efforts to identify and address adverse impacts associated with permitting applications for hydroelectric, natural gas pipeline, liquified natural gas, and electric transmission infrastructure subject to FERC jurisdiction. This roundtable will help further the goals of the Commission’s Equity Action Plan, which include reducing barriers to meaningful participation faced by underserved communities and ensuring that the Commission’s natural gas and hydroelectric policies and processes are consistent with environmental justice principles.

9:30 am – 9:45 amWelcome and Opening Remarks
9:45 am – 11:15 am Panel 1: Priorities for Advancing Environmental Justice and Equity in Infrastructure Permitting

As the Commission continues to advance its consideration of environmental justice and equity concerns in its infrastructure permitting proceedings, this panel will discuss how the Commission can better integrate and advance environmental justice and equity principles in its decision-making. The panel may include a discussion of the following questions:

  1. What should the Commission prioritize as it more fully integrates environmental justice and equity considerations into its infrastructure permitting proceedings?
  2. What lessons can the Commission learn from other federal and state agencies and tribes to better avoid and minimize negative environmental, health, and socioeconomic impacts to historically overburdened communities?
  3. How can the Commission better integrate environmental justice and equity considerations into its efforts to enhance the safety and reliability of the infrastructure it authorizes?
  • Shalanda Baker, U.S. Department of Energy, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity
  • Darcie L. Houck, California Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner
  • Ben Jealous, Sierra Club, Executive Director
  • Dana Johnson, WE ACT, Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy
  • Paul Lau, SMUD, CEO and General Manager
  • Julie Nelson, Cheniere, Senior Vice President, Policy, Government and Public Affairs
  • Matthew Tejada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Environmental Justice, Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights
  • 11:15 am – 11:30 amBreak
    11:30 am – 1:00 pm Panel 2: From the Front-Line: Impacted Communities and their Challenges

    During this panel, Commissioners will engage with members and representatives of overburdened communities impacted by FERC-jurisdictional infrastructure about the environmental justice challenges they face. The panel may include a discussion of the following questions:

    Location-Specific Impacts:

    1. Please describe your community and any environmental injustices you may have experienced, either directly or indirectly.
    2. When assessing the impacts of FERC-jurisdictional infrastructure projects, what topics or areas of concern should the Commission more fully address or emphasize during our infrastructure permitting proceedings?
    3. How can the Commission best facilitate engagement between local communities and industry during the earliest stages of the project planning process to avoid or reduce negative impacts, develop local community benefits, and implement community input with respect to other areas of concern?
    4. What are ways the Commission can strengthen its analysis of local impacts without placing an undue burden of producing additional information on environmental justice communities?

    Meaningful Engagement:

    1. How can the Commission and industry better assure that stakeholders’ input in infrastructure application proceedings was received, reviewed, and addressed in environmental review documents and the Commission’s decisions?
    2. In many cases, the Commission requires infrastructure applicants, certificate holders, or licensees to develop plans to protect public safety (such as Emergency Response Plans for liquified natural gas facilities). What steps should the Commission and industry take to provide opportunities for public participation targeted at ensuring community needs are evaluated during the development, implementation, and modification of such plans?
    3. In addition to project-specific engagement, how else should the Commission work with local communities to improve the Commission’s infrastructure permitting processes and help connect communities to resources that support community participation in our proceedings?


  • Russell Armstrong, Hip Hop Caucus, Policy Director for Climate and Environment
  • John Beard, Port Arthur Community Action Network, Founder, President, and Executive Director
  • Amy Cordalis, Ridges to Riffles Indigenous Conservation Group, Co-Principal
  • Kari Fulton, Center for Oil and Gas Organizing, Climate Justice Policy Advocate and Educator
  • Roishetta Ozane, The Vessel Project of Louisiana, Founder, Director, CEO
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch

    Lunch will not be provided.

    2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Panel 3: Identifying, Avoiding, and Addressing Environmental Justice Impacts

    This panel will discuss how infrastructure applicants, the Commission, and its staff can better identify, avoid, and minimize adverse impacts on environmental justice communities. The panel may include a discussion of the following questions:

    Cumulative Impacts:

    1. What lessons can the Commission learn from other federal and state agencies, environmental justice communities, industry, and subject matter experts on how to better identify, minimize, and avoid cumulative impacts in environmental justice communities particularly with respect to human health and climate change?
    2. How can the Commission best consider factors that increase the intensity of cumulative impacts on environmental justice communities?

    Identifying, Minimizing, and Avoiding Impacts:

    1. How can the Commission better assess and characterize direct and indirect impacts as well as past, current, and future cumulative impacts and the vulnerability or resiliency of a community?
    2. What guidance can the Commission provide to infrastructure project developers to help avoid or reduce negative impacts from new infrastructure development in environmental justice communities that are already overburdened? What indicators and thresholds should the Commission use to appropriately and accurately identify such communities early in the project development process?
    3. How can Commission staff make better use of local, state, and region-specific impact information and community knowledge when conducting an impact assessment and developing methods to avoid and minimize potential impacts?


  • Aram Benyamin, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Chief Operating Officer
  • Uni Blake, American Petroleum Institute, Senior Policy Advisor
  • Gina Dorsey, Kinder Morgan, Director, EHS-Project Permitting, Operations Support Group
  • Al Huang, Institute for Policy Integrity, NYU School of Law, Director of Environmental Justice & Senior Attorney
  • Dr. Beth Rose Middleton Manning, UC Davis, Professor of Native American Studies
  • Carolyn L. Nelson, P.E., U.S. Department of Transportation, Director of Environmental Policy & Justice Division
  • 3:30 pm Closing Remarks

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