WASHINGTON, DC - President Bush, in his State of the Union Message last night (Jan. 28), proposed spending $1.2 billion in research funding for hydrogen and hydrogen-powered cars.
Additional information released the following morning by the Department of Energy amplified that the President is proposing even higher total spending - $1.7 billion overall for fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen fuel research over the next five years in a new initiative called "FreedomFUEL."
The president's proposal includes $720 million in new spending in addition to $1 billion already budgeted for hydrogen and FreedomCAR programs.
Details will become available in early February when the administration's new Federal budget request will be released.
A memo by the U.S. Fuel Cell Council to its members explained that the new program will be managed by a single office which "allows for some cross-over between fuel cell and hydrogen program funding. The memo also noted that the White House fact sheet listing President Bush's key initiatives," distributed to the media in advance of the president's speech listed the FreedomFUEL program as the lead item - ahead of anything else, including protection against bio-terrorism and strengthening the U.S. intelligence system.
Details about the new DoE program can be found at http://www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells
Here is the hydrogen portion of President Bush's speech, from the White House transcript:
"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)
"A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. (Applause.)
"Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.)" Details: http://www.eere.energy.gov/freedomfuel/