Hydrogen Energy California project faces legal challenge, protest

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A proposed power plant near Buttonwillow is facing new challenges.

The Hydrogen Energy California project would take coal, convert that to hydrogen and produce electricity and fertilizers.

Coal for that plant would come by train to Wasco.

The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit, challenging the city of Wasco's vote to allow expansion of a coal depot. The legal challenge says environmental impacts from coal dust should have been considered.

The coal would be trucked to the plant site. That's where a protest is planned for Saturday. Clean-air groups, farmers and farmworkers worry about impacts in their area.

HECA spokesmen have said the plant will produce clean, safe energy.