Hydrogen Fuel Will Cause a Worse Climate Disaster

Green Party of Pennsylvania



Monday, February 26, 2024



Chris Robinson, Communication Team Co-Leader

215-843-4256 and [email protected]


Hydrogen Fuel Will Cause a Worse Climate Disaster 

PA Governor Josh Shapiro announced on October 13, 2023, an investment in two “hydrogen production facilities from renewable and nuclear electricity.” Many environmental activists reacted negatively. 

The Green Party Platform says, “Greens support research into advanced fuels when the purpose of the research is to develop a fuel that in its full cycle does not create more problems than it solves. We support the use of hydrogen as an energy storage medium; however we oppose the use of nuclear technologies or carbon-based feedstocks for hydrogen production.” The Green Party Communication Team asked a member of the Green Party of Montgomery County to explain why the Green Party does not support the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel.

By Rick Denzien (Montgomery County)

The notion that hydrogen (H) can be produced for “clean” transportation is greenwashing pushed to the ridiculous. Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table of elements and readily combines with many other elements including oxygen (O) in the air we breathe.

The combination form of H is water, a life giving compound (HO), which we all drink and even float upon. With more that 76% of the Earth’s surface covered with water (coming from crashing ice comets), it is natural to assume that if we could unglue the massive star power that created water and get free H and O, but like many things, free isn’t really free.

95+% of all hydrogen produced today does not come from splitting water, but from splitting CH (aka “methane” or “natural gas”). The fossil fuel companies are happy to promote this idea at every opportunity. After all, methane is one of the main products of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) -- the promise of cheap energy, along with free negative externalities like radioactive wastewater filled with hundreds of known cancer-causing chemicals.

CH is a powerful climate heating gas, 80 times more powerful than CO (carbon dioxide) as a gas that holds the sun’s heat in. In 2014, NASA discovered that there was a bubble of methane the size of the state of Delaware floating over the U.S. NASA scientists thought that there must be a huge mistake in instrumentation, but the instruments from space were correct. The evidence was vindicated on the ground.

It turns out that every oil and gas well ever drilled is leaking methane into the atmosphere -- some a little, most quite a bit, and a few are out of control. Millions of these wells are leaking methane, not just one or two. They all leak. The pipes leak, the consolidators leak, and at home we spray open methane into our furnaces. We turn on our gas stoves to cook. All are leaking methane.

The Dark Side of Hydrogen
Hydrogen has long been hailed as a clean and sustainable energy source with the potential to revolutionize the energy landscape. However, a closer examination reveals a darker side to this seemingly eco-friendly element. In fact, hydrogen -- when produced from methane, coal or ammonia -- poses significant human and environmental risk.

Hydrogen production from methane is one of the most common methods, a process called steam methane reforming (SMR). This process involves reacting methane (CH) with steam (HO) to produce hydrogen (H) and carbon dioxide (CO). Unfortunately, this also results in the release of CO, a very potent greenhouse gas contributing to global warming and climate change. In addition, when hydrogen is burned it forms warm water vapor, which is itself a greenhouse gas known to intensify storm weather systems. Particulate matter (PM 2.5) is also a concern under study.

Greenwashing by Fossil Fuel Companies
As the world increasingly shifts toward cleaner energy alternatives, fossil fuel companies are desperately trying to halt the downward spiral to stranded assets by attempting to rebrand themselves as environmentally responsible entities. Hydrogen, being touted as a green energy carrier, provides these companies with an opportunity for greenwashing – the practice of misleadingly portraying environmentally harmful activities as environmentally friendly.

Fossil fuel companies often invest in hydrogen projects, emphasizing their commitment to sustainability. However, the reality is that a significant portion of hydrogen production is derived from fossil fuels, perpetuating their reliance on non-renewable resources.

Environmental Impact
The environmental impact of hydrogen production from methane extends beyond greenhouse gas emissions. Extraction and transportation of methane, as well as the potential leakage of methane during these processes, further contribute to environmental degradation. In addition, the disposal of carbon dioxide generated during hydrogen production poses challenges, with carbon capture and storage technologies still in the early stages of development and implementation.

The released CO during the manufacture of H, goes right into the atmosphere as a climate-change gas. The fossil fuel companies will say that they can carbon capture the CO gas and store it underground but fail to point out the extreme expense and ineffectiveness of the proposed technology using up even more energy. As of this writing, 95%+ of H is produced today in the most irresponsible, dirtiest, and environmentally harmful way. Involvement in hydrogen projects serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the importance of scrutinizing the origins and practices of supposedly green technologies. As society strives for genuine sustainability, it is imperative to remain vigilant against the pitfalls of greenwashing and to prioritize truly clean and renewable energy sources.

Ron Denzien has been a member of the Green Party of Montgomery County since 2014. He is a singer/songwriter/performer and advocate for sustainable energy, transportation and environmental justice. Denzien’s solar array became the first home and business in Montgomery County to go 100% zero emission in 2014. Become a patron of his work: www.Patreon.com/RickDenzien

The Green Party of PA, https://www.gpofpa.org, is an independent political party which stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please email [email protected]. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/gpofpa/; Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/pagreenparty/; and Twitter, https://twitter.com/GreenPartyofPA.

For more information, please see:

PA the Only State to Secure Two Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Projects, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, October 13, 2023,

Platform of the Green Party of the U.S.: III.Ecological Sustainability; B.Energy; 2.Move to Renewable Sources; Paragraph f; https://www.gp.org/ecological_sustainability#renewable 

Is Hydrogen Just Oil and Gas Greenwashed? By James Morris, Forbes, July 31, 2021,

Hydrogen Areas of Concern, Clean Energy Group, https://www.cleanegroup.org/initiatives/hydrogen/areas-of-concern/ 



GPUS website, https://www.gp.org/hydrogen_fuel_will_cause 


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