MACH2, Department of Energy and Governor Shapiro forced to hear public concerns (Delaware Riverkeeper Network – 3/11/24)

Monday, March 11th, 2024 – At a public meeting held at the Steam fitters Union Hall in northeast Philadelphia, community members and organizations, including representatives from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, spoke up to voice concern about the inadequate inclusion of frontline communities in planning for the proposed Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2). These communities were not invited nor considered when MACH2 planned the meeting as was evidenced by the lack of public outreach prior to the event and choice of venue which was both distant from the communities where the hydrogen projects would be built and not easily accessible. 

Stating that frontline community members deserve to have their voices heard, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Maya van Rossum, demanded of Governor Josh Shapiro, who was heralding MACH2, “When are you going to have a meeting with those community members?” Others spoke up from the floor one at a time, presenting prepared questions to the Governor about MACH2 and objecting to the lack of any public comment opportunity or representation from impacted communities on the agenda. Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Deputy Director, Tracy Carluccio, questioned how an honest process of public participation can take place when decisions regarding the project have already been decided in private. “We want the Department of Energy to see that MACH2 has utterly failed to engage the public as they are supposed to do and should not be awarded the funding the federal government has promised,” said Carluccio. 

The MACH2 is proposed for southeastern Pennsylvania, southern/central New Jersey, and Delaware. Such hydrogen hubs are a controversial part of the Biden administration’s plan to infuse billions of dollars into developing hydrogen as an energy source, drawing much criticism from environmental and climate activists due to hydrogen’s inefficiency and polluting emissions when burned and its dependence upon other energy sources, such as fossil fuels and nuclear power. To learn more about the MACH2 and the threat is poses to the region’s environmental justice communities, CLICK HERE

To read the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s March 11, 2024, press release, CLICK HERE. 

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