Today, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) hosted a U.S. Senate policy briefing as a first step in launching the new bipartisan Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus. This caucus will promote the continued development and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the United States. The senators hosted the briefing to educate the public about the value of these clean energy technologies - which have helped to create 11,000 jobs in the United States - and to invite innovative ideas to advance the industry.
The new Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will also include Senators Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), all of whom offered support for this briefing and the formation of the new caucus.
"We are on the cusp of a new era for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. They are about clean energy, good jobs, and dependable and reliable sources of energy," said Blumenthal. "These technologies will be adapted further, and the potential is unlimited for this integral and essential part of America's energy future. We have a great group of people involved in this caucus, and I look forward to the work ahead."
"I'm very proud that South Carolina is a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell research," said Graham. "Research institutions across our state, and outside organizations, have recognized the impact hydrogen fuel technology could have on our future. Working together, they will help lead our state and nation into the next generation of fuel technology."
"We're going to need smart and innovative ideas in these challenging fiscal times to move hydrogen and fuel cell technology and commercialization forward in our country," said Hoeven. "This caucus can serve as an incubator for those ideas, helping us build a dynamic new energy sector and move us further toward true American energy security."
"A truly secure energy future for the United States will depend largely on the diversity and availability of our energy sources," said Coons. "Fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies have enormous potential and should be an important part of our energy mix. They are already having an impact in Delaware, where Bloom Energy just broke ground on a new manufacturing facility that could eventually employ 900 people. This caucus is an opportunity not only to advocate for public and private investments in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, but to educate businesses and consumers about the important role they can play in our energy future." Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
"Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies provide incredibly clean energy and deserve more focus as we work to reduce our use of imported fuels. I am very pleased to help get the word out about these technologies and promote their use as a member of the revived Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus," said Akaka.
"An all-of-the-above energy strategy should certainly include fuel cells and hydrogen," said Wyden. "This is a technology where the U.S. has a technological lead and it's important that we maintain it. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues and with the Caucus to make sure that we do."
"Michigan is a leader in clean-energy patents and technologies," said Stabenow. "We need to keep investing in these innovative American sources of energy to both increase our national security and create new high-tech jobs here."
"Fuel cells are a Made-in-America energy solution that strengthen our energy security and create jobs," said Tester. "Taking responsible steps to develop fuel cells and expand their use will improve energy efficiency and make our nation more energy independent."
Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies create clean, efficient, "zero-emissions" energy, and are currently utilized in commercial, residential, and governmental institutions throughout the United States. These technologies are powered by hydrogen resources readily available in the United States, which help to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. The United States is the world leader in fuel cell manufacturing, research, and development; however fuel cell and hydrogen industries are becoming more popular abroad. The senators are rolling out the new bipartisan Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus to help maintain the United States' leadership in this area, and to identify further policy and investment solutions to support these technologies, which have already created thousands of American jobs.