The U. S. Congress once again wants to give U. S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu millions of dollars for hydrogen car research and development and the former Nobel Prize winner doesn’t want any of it. Energy Secretary Chu calls hydrogen fuel cell cars impractical.
I had talked about a similar debate between the U. S. House, U. S. Senate and Mr. Chu in November 2009. Secretary Chu wants to spend the money on other resources, which is fine, but the word “impractical” keeps resonating in my head.
For instance, Europe and Japan are now kicking the butts of the U. S. citizens in development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, going full steam ahead in anticipation of a massive rollout of H2 cars in a few years. They are not calling hydrogen cars impractical.
The eight largest automakers in the world including GM, Toyota, Honda, Ford, BMW and Daimler are not calling hydrogen cars impractical because not only have they spent billions of dollars in development already but they have committed to having production H2 cars in the showrooms by 2015.
Who else is not calling hydrogen fuel cell cars and infrastructure impractical? Hydrogen fueling station vendors such as Air Products, Praxair, Linde and even ITM Power (who is developing a home hydrogen fueling station) are not calling H2 impractical.
SunHydro who is developing an East Coast Hydrogen Highway system is not calling hydrogen cars and fueling station impractical. Entrepreneurs, small companies, universities, large companies and other governments worldwide are not calling hydrogen impractical.
So, why does DOE Secretary Chu continue to do so? Some may call it a lack of vision while others call it a different vision of the future of energy in the U. S. Whatever the motive, it is important that the collective cooler heads in Congress are prevailing on this issue and forcing Mr. Chu to take money he doesn’t what for projects he doesn’t want to do. Sometimes the common good for all depends upon this.