Environmental Justice Impacts of the Hydrogen Economy

The hydrogen buzz is getting louder. Carbon-free hydrogen is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s strategy to achieve President Biden’s net-zero by 2050 target, and the bipartisan infrastructure law earmarked $8 billion for regional clean hydrogen hubs. Meanwhile, natural gas and electric utilities in more than a dozen states are proposing hydrogen-blending for use in buildings and natural gas plants. In this episode, energy equity advocates discuss which of these hydrogen applications have the most potential and which are the most problematic. You’ll also hear how hydrogen could harm environmental justice and frontline communities, as well as more promising and equitable solutions.


Abbe Ramanan, Project Manager at Clean Energy States Alliance and Clean Energy Group. In her dual roles, Abbe specializes in equitable low-income solar policy, managing the Solar with Justice: Connecting States and Communities project, and leading the Hydrogen Information and Public Education project. She also supports the Resilient Power Project to provide solar and battery storage technologies to the communities that need it most. Abbe holds a master’s degree in energy policy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University.

Victor Davila, Community organizer and ACTION program manager at The Point Community Development Corporation. Victor has been a Bronx based community organizer for over 16 years and attended the University of Vermont. Victor is a co-founder of the environmental education skate group Eco Ryders and a member of the New York Renews organizing committee.

Daniel Chu, Energy Planner for the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. Daniel is an urban designer interested in civic involvement in the built environment design and preservation. He has experience working at NYC 2030 District focusing on building efficiency and heat pump retrofits in Brooklyn, and at Urban Design Forum reporting infrastructure maintenance and global zoning practices. Daniel has also held various positions with The New School, where he also received a Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies and a BA in Urban Studies.

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