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NW Natural puts hydrogen project on back burner

Burning gas stovetop.
Derrick Coetzee (dcoetzee)
Burning gas stovetop.

Gas utility Northwest Natural has ended plans for a hydrogen blending project in West Eugene, following outcry and concern from locals.

Lisa Arkin is executive director of Beyond Toxics, an environmental advocacy group. It was among those opposed to the utility’s plan to mix hydrogen gas into fossil gas for residential and office use.

“It was the wrong choice for the wrong community,” Arkin told KLCC. “Hydrogen may have a role to play in a green energy future, but it would not be piping into people’s personal homes to use in their appliances. Hydrogen is not economically viable for that kind of a project.”

In its official withdrawal notification to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, Northwest Natural stated that “more stakeholder outreach and engagement is necessary prior to advancing the project any further.”

©2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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