Leaders of California’s labor groups, along with CEOs of auto and energy companies, have called on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to allocate $300 million in the state budget to fund the final construction of 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations statewide in the next decade to meet the state’s climate goals.
In a letter to the governor, the State Building & Construction Trades Council, California State Council of Laborers, District Council of Ironworkers, and the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers, along with the chief executives of Toyota, Hyundai, Chevron, Shell, Linde and True Zero, called for the immediate funding in the 2022-2023 state budget. This funding will support the buildout of 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations statewide, which will provide fueling access for 97% of disadvantaged communities and 94% of the geographic state.
“This is the dawn of an entirely new, clean and domestic power source made to serve the energy and transportation markets to achieve our shared goals,” notes the letter. “Funding to ‘finish the launch’ of the statewide fueling network is a low-risk, high-reward investment. At this still early stage in market development, the signal California sends on hydrogen will impact private investment decisions.”
The business and labor leaders note the development of a statewide network will create between 2,280-3,720 hydrogen production and station construction jobs annually. By 2032, between 12,010-13,460 permanent jobs will be created. The average salary of those jobs is forecast to be between $84,000-$91,000 per year across engineering, construction, installation, equipment maintenance and hydrogen testing professions.
The letter was signed by Joe Cruz, president of the California State Council of Laborers; Tim Cremins, director of the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers; Andy Walz, president of Americas Fuels and Lubricants of Chevron; Keith Dunn, commodore of the District Council of Iron Workers; Joel Ewanick, chairman and CEO of FirstElement Fuel; Jose Munoz, president and CEO of Hyundai North America; Dan Yankowski, president of Linde Gases, North America; Andrew Meredith, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council; Gretchen Watkins, president of Shell USA; and Tetsuo Ogawa, president and CEO of Toyota North America.