Fuel Cell Expo Draws Bipartisan D.C. Crowd

An estimated 1,000 members of Congress, congressional staff, federal officials, business executives and news media representatives filled the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill for the US Fuel Cell Council’s 4th Annual Congressional Fuel Cell Expo on June 22, 2004. More than 35 fuel cell industry leaders exhibited at the event, which was held in the Cannon House Office Building.

Washington D.C. – June 24, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Support for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies crosses party lines, and this year’s Expo received bi-partisan sponsorship from Congressional leaders: Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Rep. John Larson (D-CT), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Rep. Johnson, Rep. Larson, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18th) were on-hand to give remarks to attendees. In her remarks, Rep. Johnson said she is “very proud of the progress you’ve madeýto demonstrate the power of fuel cells.” EXPO co-sponsor Rep. Larson said fuel cells are the path forward “as we seek to extricate ourselves from the policies that keep us dependant on foreign oil.” Rep. Jackson Lee, who is on the House Science Committee, said “We need a continued commitment” to fuel cells, and “we must not shun any technology that will make us [energy] independent.” “The fuel cell industry is proud of our track record in working hand in hand with our government partners to ensure that as a nation, we are making the right value-added investments that will accelerate our work and quickly bring a hydrogen economy to fruition,” said George Earle, director of hydrogen infrastructure for Plug Power, and president of the US Fuel Cell Council (USFCC). He added, the Congressional Fuel Cell EXPO is “a time when our industry group comes together here to showcase our products, share our vision for the future, and inform our friends in Washington about the progress we are making to build a better tomorrow.” Many members of Congress, their staff, and other federal officials took advantage of the opportunity to drive the General Motors Hydrogen 3 Opel Zafira minivan, and to ride on the Vectrix, a fuel cell scooter prototype developed by Parker Hannifin. On Monday, June 21, USFCC hosted a reception for member companies and invited Congressional representatives, their staff and federal officials. At the reception, the Council presented the US Fuel Cell Council’s 2003 Pathfinder Award to Dr. Charles Ke, Chief of the Science Group, for the U.S. DOT Research and Special Projects Agency Office of Hazardous Materials Technology. The Pathfinder Award recognizes individuals whose efforts have an important impact on the fuel cell industry. Dr. Ke has worked closely with the Council on issues regarding the transport of fuel cells and fuels on airplanes, seen as critical for moving micro fuel cell technology applications forward.
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