Yesterday I had talked about how Oregon was moving forward with its goal of becoming a model hydrogen economy for the nation. I had also talked about how Washington State needed to step up to bat in order for a West Coast Hydrogen Highway Corridor to be developed.
Today, I know that there is some movement in regards to building a hydrogen highway network in Washington State. In talking about the connection between British Columbia and Washington State, the Puget Sound Business Journal says, “With two dynamic mayors sharing a common agenda, our regions should work together. A ‘hydrogen highway’ lined with hydrogen-fueling infrastructure is planned for construction between Vancouver and Whistler in 2007. It could be extended into I-5 in Washington – and beyond to California.”
In addition, there is a bill in the Washington State House of Representatives today (HB 3170) that calls for designating State Route 5 as the Washington Hydrogen Highway. State Route 5 runs north and south and connects Oregon, Washington and British Columbia via one highway.
By designating this stretch of highway as a “hydrogen highway”, Washington will be taking the first step in development of its H2 infrastructure. One day in the not too distant future, you too could be driving your hydrogen car from San Diego, California to Vancouver, British Columbia and back and perhaps you’ll even see a little downhill skiing during the Winter Olympics while you’re at it.
Washington State has also taken steps to educate its youth about hydrogen. The Washington State Fuel Cell Education and Demonstration Program was launched to teach 18,000 high school students about hydrogen and fuel cells. The programs also is providing opportunities for college students to receive internships and an education about fuel cells.
I’m excited about Washington State’s plan. They are not only building a hydrogen highway system, but a hydrogen information highway system based upon education. This system is training the next generation of youth to be scientists and engineers developing the necessary components for the hydrogen-based economy of the future.