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Climate and Environment

LA Could Apply To Become A 'Green Hydrogen Hub.' Some Environmentalists Aren't Sold On The Idea

A large white tank labeled hydrogen sits in the foreground with a tower and equipment visible in the distance.
Critics say say even green hydrogen can release emissions if used in combustion.
(Courtesy U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy )
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Some Los Angeles leaders want to see the city become a regional "green hydrogen hub." The big federal infrastructure bill that was passed last year includes $8 billion for such hubs. And a motion to have L.A. apply to the program just made it out of a key City Council committee.

But some environmental activists are raising concerns about the proposal, arguing it's being rushed and may not be so "green."

The Sierra Club's Theresa Cheng says the key issue is how the hydrogen power is produced and used.

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"Green hydrogen, for example, could help cut pollution for some industries that are hard to electrify, like shipping and airplanes," she said. "But it would be environmentally damaging and needless in other sectors."

Cheng says even green hydrogen can release emissions if used in combustion.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's office says it is working with the Sierra Club and several other environmental groups on the proposal. The next step would be a vote by the full City Council.

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