Issue Position: Energy / Environment / Climate Change: Fuel Cells
In 2004, the U.S. imported an average of 13 million barrels of oil per day from foreign oil producers. While our nation consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day, we only produce 5 million a day - leaving the U.S. dangerously dependent on foreign sources of oil. Recent increases in energy prices, coupled with the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, clearly demonstrate the need for our nation to diversify our national energy portfolio and develop alternative sources of energy that will lead us to a secure and independent energy future.
I have long advocated for robust government investment in hydrogen fuel cells. Pursuing the development and commercialization of fuel cells strikes at the very core of our national security, economic stability, and environmental conscience. We have before us the technology to provide clean, reliable energy for every person, home, business, and vehicle in America. With fuel cells, we have the opportunity to end America's reliance on foreign energy sources while at the same time creating quality jobs for the next century in a new and expanding technological field. As a leader in the research and manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cells, Connecticut will play a vital role in our nation's energy future.
* Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation in the 109th Congress
* Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Program
* Department of Energy Hydrogen Program
House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus
In June 2004, I joined Reps. Al Wynn (D-MD), Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Bob Inglis (R-SC) in forming the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus. The Caucus is a bipartisan group of concerned Members of Congress created to promote and enhance awareness of the issues surrounding an accelerated transition to energy independence through hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
Fuel Cell Funding
Congress has a vital part to play in providing the long-term investment necessary to research, develop, and commercialize hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PL 109-58) authorized $860 million in federal fuel cell funding and one billion for hydrogen programs under the Department of Energy for Fiscal Years 2006 through Fiscal Year 2010.
During debate on the Fiscal Year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill (HR 2641), I successfully offered an amendment with Rep. Wynn to ensure that $213 million within the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs would be for hydrogen research and development. The amendment increased funding for the hydrogen technologies program by $18.4 million.