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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser, 202.753.7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: On Friday, 13 October 2023, President Biden announced funding for hydrogen hubs and carbon capture projects in 7 locations within the US. The process of selecting these hubs, which are set to receive billions of dollars of taxpayer money, largely excluded those most likely to be impacted by their construction: frontline communities. As such, these projects are likely to increase harms to historically marginalized communities, including Black, Latino, Indigenous and poorer white rural communities in the US.

Fossil-fueled hydrogen and carbon capture projects do nothing to address upstream emissions from oil and gas extraction, rely on capture technology unproven at a commercial scale, and will require a massive buildout of volatile, unsafe, and under-regulated CO2 pipelines like the one that poisoned a town in 2020. It ignores the inherent and documented risks and health harms of oil and gas extraction and waste. 

Statement by Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel:

“Make no mistake, prioritizing hydrogen hubs across the United States is more about extending the life of oil & gas companies than addressing the climate crisis. These hubs are a dangerous distraction from the obvious consensus solution that the world must stop expanding fossil fuels that are warming the atmosphere. They do nothing to address the legacy of extraction and corporate welfare across the US and instead excuse the fossil fuel industry to perpetuate harm. 

“President Biden committed to prioritize justice in his administration, yet frontline communities have been excluded from engagement and consideration when deciding on funding these unprecedented industrial projects. 

“Going forward, the public, especially communities already overburdened by industrial pollution, must have an opportunity to meaningfully engage and shape the selected hub proposals, up to and including rejecting a project if deemed harmful to public health and the environment. Nothing short of this is good for climate or justice.”