July 28, 2003
Ending Air Pollution
By Harry Braun
Urban air pollution that comes from using fossil fuels affects every major city in the world, forcing millions of people to raise their families in toxic air that will ultimately result in trillions of dollars of disease and death - not to mention the day-to-day quality of life issues. If these health care costs, along with the other environmental and military costs of using fossil fuels, were factored into the price of gasoline, pollution-free hydrogen made from water and wind-generated electricity would be the least expensive fuel option. Although President Bush focused on hydrogen in his recent State of the Union Address, he is waiting to replace internal combustion engines with fuel cells (which could take many decades) and he wants to make the hydrogen from toxic and non-renewable fossil and nuclear fuels. This approach will require many decades of R&D and will do nothing to solve the primary supply and environmental problems of using such fuels.
The Phoenix Project:
Given that energy policy profoundly impacts the economy, the environment and U.S. foreign policy, The Phoenix Project is a $6 trillion "transition of substance" that will allow the U.S. to lead the world in shifting to a pollution-free solar hydrogen economy with wartime-speed (i.e., by 2010). This rapid schedule can be accomplished by passing Fair Accounting Act legislation in the U.S. Congress that would eliminate subsidies to fossil and nuclear systems, and factor in the environmental and military costs of using such fuels with a temporary carbon tax, that would be phased out with the use of fossil fuels. If a fair accounting system is used, solar-sourced hydrogen will be the least expensive fuel. This is the necessary market incentive for oil and utility companies (not taxpayers) to make the multi-trillion investments for the mass-production of wind and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems that will be needed for large-scale hydrogen production. Millions of Americans will be employed in the automotive, aerospace and ship building industries as the U.S. becomes energy independent of all fossil and nuclear fuels and every existing power plant and automotive vehicle is modified to use hydrogen, the only "universal fuel" that is non-toxic, pollution-free and inexhaustible. Moreover, since hydrogen can be made from water with electricity, which is found at every gas station as well as every home, filling up with hydrogen will be easier - and much safer - than using gasoline and other hydrocarbon fuels where the hydrogen is chemically bonded to carbon.
Hydrogen Will Provide Crystal Clear Air Even in Rush Hour Traffic
Hydrogen is the only pollution-free fuel that can displace oil, and as such, Congressional Hearings are needed in order to enact Fair Accounting Act legislation that will serve as the "trigger mechanism" for this "transition of substance." This legislation will transfer federal subsidies from fossil and nuclear fuels to clean hydrogen technologies, including the necessary automotive conversion kits that will be needed to have everyone's existing vehicles modified to use hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen from wind systems will have a production cost of about $2.00 per equivalent gallon of gasoline, but while gasoline will get increasingly expensive in the future as the oil and natural gas reserves are depleted, the wind-powered hydrogen production costs will continue to be reduced as more and more engineers focus on optimizing the hydrogen production technologies. For information on how to have clear air everyday, refer to the phoenixproject.net website or call the Hydrogen Political Action Committee (H2 Pac.org) at (602) 977-0888.