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Aviation Pros: Plans to Test Hydrogen Energy Cause Controversy in California

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Article written by Brooke Staggs

Supporters view a pilot project in the works at UC Irvine as a crucial step in helping California hit its clean energy goals.

Opponents, who protested the project on campus Friday, say it’s a distraction from more viable climate solutions, and that it will “use college students as guinea pigs in a dangerous experiment.”

And while many of those students remain oblivious to the brewing controversy, others are struggling to decide if they should feel pride or fear over being at ground zero as it all unfolds.

UC Irvine could be among the first places in the country, and one of a small number worldwide, where cleaner-burning hydrogen is blended with natural gas and injected into existing pipelines that directly fuel furnaces, water heaters and other gas-powered appliances.

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