When this year’s legislative session begins tomorrow, the New Mexico Roundhouse will become ground zero for a roaring local and national debate about whether hydrogen can, or should, play a role in today’s efforts to combat climate change.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is promoting a newly drafted Hydrogen Hub Act as “signature” legislation in the 30-day session, proposing a slate of tax breaks to help build out an entirely new hydrogen industry in New Mexico from the ground up. The bill would elevate the production and use of “clean hydrogen” as a state-supported resource to help convert the electric grid to renewable generation, and to accelerate efforts to decarbonize transportation and other sectors of the economy.
Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, a Gallup Democrat who chairs the Legislative Finance Committee, is also promoting a new bill, the Hydrogen Hub Development Act. It would establish special zones in targeted areas across the state where new hydrogen projects would be located, potentially attracting associated industry that can use the hydrogen, or that can benefit from hydrogen-based electric generation produced there.
Lundstrom’s initiative could potentially pump up to $150 million in state money into public-private partnerships to build out hydrogen projects.