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U.S. 05′ Budget Supports Hydrogen Initiative

The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) spoke out in applause of President George W. Bush and Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, for continued support of the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative announced last year in the State of the Union address and continued support for the FreedomCAR program, both of which the NHW says promise significant energy security and environmental benefits.

Washington D.C. – February 6, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The Association is said they are pleased with the recommendations for increased funding in 2005 budgets, expecting that this will help continue U.S. leadership in developing markets and technologies for a hydrogen future. The 2005 budget request does not present new hydrogen initiatives, said the NHA. “This is a budget that stays the course,” Assistant Secretary of Energy David Garman said in the rollout of the hydrogen budget elements to a meeting of stakeholder organizations Monday, referring to the proposed 16% increase in the hydrogen and fuel cell program budgets for FY05. “While we support the increased budgets for 2005, we will need to quickly reach much greater levels of funding to achieve the ambitious hydrogen and automotive goals that the President has set for this country,” National Hydrogen Association Chairman, Gene Nemanich, said. The NHA said they are concerned whether this request is sufficient to support current procurements and contracts that will be significantly underfunded in 2004 due to Congressional cuts and earmarks. “Industry is ramping up its investment in hydrogen and related technologies,” Nemanich said. “We are at the front edge of the ramp. How quickly we advance up the ramp depends on whether the government’s promise of sharing the cost of research and development can be kept.” “Energy security is one of three primary drivers to a future fueled by hydrogen,” said NHA President, Jeffrey Serfass. “It is what is driving industry and this administration to promote hydrogen development. Our membership also named environmental stewardship and economic prosperity as the other two key drivers. Based on Secretary Abraham’s presentation Monday, his announced DOE mission of national security, and the array of environmental and technology leadership considerations in hydrogen programs, I am quite sure the Department of Energy shares our view.”