REP. LARSON WINS MAJOR VICTORY FOR FUEL CELL RESEARCH IN ENERGY AND WATER APPROPRIATIONS BILL
As the House concluded consideration of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill (HR 2641) today, the House approved a hydrogen and fuel cell research and development amendment championed by Congressman Larson (CT-1) and Congressman Al Wynn (MD), two of the co-chairs to the bipartisan, House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus. The amendment would ensure that $213 million within the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs would be for hydrogen research and development.
The amendment increased funding for the hydrogen technologies program by $18.4 million, matching the Department of Energy's budget request for fiscal 2008. Also, in response to concerns raised in the bill that hydrogen and fuel cell technology will not be ready for the market until 2050, Larson defended the progress of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.
"The urgency of the need to be energy independent tomorrow is today. Fuel cells are the energy source that can't be postponed until tomorrow," said Larson.
There are numerous fuel cell products available on the market today. UTC Power in Connecticut provides power and drinking water for US space missions through fuel cells. Fuel cells also provide clean and highly efficient power for hospitals, research centers, police and first responder facilities, office buildings, and waste water treatment facilities. Recently Hartford launched a zero-emission quiet power public transportation bus, the first of its kind on the east coast.
"Fuel cells are a smart and pollution free technology. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is the crux of fuel cells. We must remain committed to any research and development that will advance this technology, only then will it become more accessible and affordable."
The bill being considered in the House today is still pending final passage in the House which will be done in July.