Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010. He says he wants to spur the growth of manufacturing jobs inside the U. S. and in particular clean energy jobs.
According to President Obama’s speech before signing, “The extraordinary growth we’ve seen in the clean energy sector is due first and foremost to the entrepreneurial drive of our businesses and our workers … I believe that if an American company wants to innovate, grow, and create jobs right here in the United States, we should give them the support they need to do it. That’s why I’m urging Congress, once again, to invest $5 billion in these clean energy manufacturing tax credits. It’s an investment that will generate $12 billion or more in private sector investment and tens of thousands of new jobs.
“And as I’ve said before, the nation that wins the race for the clean energy economy will lead the 21st century economy. Other nations know this. They’ve been investing heavily in that future. They want those jobs. But the United States of America doesn’t play for second place. We compete to win. And we will win this if we move forward free of politics, focused on just what it takes to get the job done.”
Okay, from the sound of it this appears to be an “all hands of deck” approach to the clean energy sector including hydrogen. But, does this include hydrogen? And, if it doesn’t include hydrogen then why not?
Clean energy manufacturing jobs within the hydrogen sector will include producing stationary and mobile fuel cells, H2 cars and hydrogen fueling stations. It will provide jobs for those engaged in varying methods of producing hydrogen.
If hydrogen is produced using renewable energy, then additional jobs in solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric will need to be added. Sometimes when President Obama talks I would like to read the “thought bubble” above his head that may say something like, “…the nation that wins the race for the clean energy economy (except hydrogen) will lead the 21st century economy.”
If this were the case then at least hydrogen proponents would know where we stand. Right now, those in the hydrogen industry are like the sad kid looking inside his best friend’s window only to find out he hasn’t been invited to the party. The hydrogen industry needs to be invited to this party.