Let’s make no mistake about it. The environmental disaster that is happening right now in the Gulf Coastal region is the worst oil spill in U. S. history. So, this begs the question (at least on this blog) as to where are all of the hydrogen cars and fueling stations along the Gulf Coast region as a solution towards getting off of our oil addiction going forward?
According to the National Hydrogen Association Hydrogen Fueling Station Database, here is the breakdown of stations that are either operational or planned along the Gulf Coast and whether they are private or public stations:
1. Austin, Texas – public or private (unknown) most likely private since it resides at a research center
2. Louisiana – none operational and none planned
3. Alabama – none operational and none planned
4. Georgia – none operational and none planned
5. Florida – 4 hydrogen stations total
- a. Kennedy Space Center – Private
- b. Orlando, Florida, 2 stations, both private
- c. Oviedo, FL – private
In October 2009, I had talked about how the Gulf Coast region, particularly Louisiana and Texas have the most vast and robust hydrogen production and pipeline system in the U. S. The hydrogen produced here is mostly used for the refining of crude oil.
With a region already rich in hydrogen production and distribution, one would think that both hydrogen cars and fueling stations would be prevalent in these states. But, this is not so.
The Gulf Coast oil spill is an environmental disaster of unknown magnitude that is affecting and will continue to affect wildlife, jobs and the health of residents and cleanup workers for some time to come.
Perhaps this is a wakeup call in this region that oil is not the answer to our future energy needs and alternatives such as hydrogen are needed and needed now. It is most obvious that BP and the other big oil companies will not be the ones ushering in the new hydrogen transportation age.
Government, specialty gas companies, other industrial hydrogen and fuel cell companies big and small, the automakers and a meaningful grassroots movement will be needed to motivate this region and all other regions forward.
The Gulf Oil spill is a wakeup call. Let’s just hope we all wake up and suddenly realize that hydrogen cars and infrastructure need to be fast-tracked more than ever to meet our future environmental and energy independence needs.