I live in a dense and developed state between New York and Boston.

Around here, infrastructure pipelines are proposed for natural gas, and are summarily rejected for being anathema to clean energy public policy goals. 

Large-scale pipeline infrastructure is typically for energy commodities and storage mediums. 

So what if these projects delivered something else? 

Further west, these conversations are happening for different commodities, and in places with much more open greenfield to build. 

To wit – two proposed multi-state pipelines in the U.S. Midwest have become a big issue for states and landowners [link].

The projects seek to connect ethanol plants, who’ll capture and send away their carbon dioxide byproducts for eventual long-term sequestration storage, avoiding atmospheric release. 

In this case, the transported good is essentially a waste byproduct instead of a resource. 

States are now passing laws to give farmer landowners more protection against eminent domain powers and one-side right-of-way agreements, including if they receive federal tax credits. These tools could otherwise force a market-rate sale of private property to make way for pipelines.

This may well be a shade of things to come for hydrogen. 

In the decades to come, hydrogen will be picked up as an energy medium, whose large-scale pipelines being the most viable and low-emissions delivery vector. 

Will the typical objections of local siting, state preference or environmentalism be just as salient when infrastructure is carry not oil or gas, but captured CO2 or clean hydrogen? 

Fugitive emissions from methane (natural gas) are much worse than CO2. And with hydrogen, emissions happen at the wellhead equivalent – the upstream activity where its sourced. 

So will the considerations be similar, as states collaborate on fresh rounds of infrastructure buildout? 

Time will tell.