The U. S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize Winner, has on many occasions insinuated that he is a hydrogen hater, by trying to zero out the Federal budget for hydrogen cars. He calls them “impractical” while battery electric cars have gotten his blessing.
As early as May 2011, there were 12 U. S. Senators petitioning Secretary Chu not to zero out the budget for hydrogen cars saying that America for the moment leads in this technology and in manufacturing jobs in this sector. The budget was of course cut, but not zeroed out thanks to the outcry from both Republican and Democratic U. S. Senators.
So, now ½ a year later when holiday cheer and parties are flowing and celebrations are at hand, what does the Energy Secretary do? Well, of course Dr. Chu decides to light his Christmas tree using a fuel cell. Now, there is nothing wrong with this. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did this before for several years when he was in charge of such things.
Also in the United Kingdom, the star atop Trafalgar Square’s Christmas tree is also powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The message in and of itself to use green energy to power holiday lights is a sound one. What is not sound, however, is to cut the budget for an emerging technology, then show it off at Christmas time as if you’re a true believer.
I suppose this hypocrisy could have been worse, though. I suppose Dr. Chu could be driving around to his holiday parties in a hydrogen car and then giving out toy RC hydrogen cars to children as gifts this holiday season.
On second thought, though, perhaps I should give Dr. Chu the benefit of the doubt. After all this is the holiday season and the time for second chances. Perhaps Secretary Chu has turned from a hydrogen Grinch into a hydrogen believer due to the magic of Christmas. All you have to do is close your eyes and believe. Believe …