Every once in a while I write about the political issues surrounding the creation of hydrogen fuel cell cars and its supporting infrastructure. In June, 2010 I had talked about how U. S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) were fighting with the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu about proposed multi-million dollar cuts to the hydrogen research budget.
Right now a Republican and a Democrat have taken up the mantle to urge the DOE to maintain funding for hydrogen and fuel cell programs. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have sent a letter to Dr. Chu, signed off by 12 other U. S. Senators as well.
According to Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) President Ruth Cox, “We are grateful to Senators Brown and Graham, and their 12 distinguished colleagues from across the country, for this forceful message of support to preserve American jobs and leadership in the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry.
“The disproportionate budget cuts proposed by the DOE would seriously undermine American competitiveness in this core clean energy technology—the last such technology in which the U.S. has a technical and manufacturing lead. Our industry is proud to be creating jobs as part of America’s growing clean energy economy, and we are even prouder that so many notable Senators are standing up to ensure fuel cells and hydrogen energy remain an integral component of our clean energy portfolio.”
To pull out my own political jargon for a bit, we are not just a collection of blue states and red states. We have the potential to be the United Green States. Green is the color of money during an economic recovery when jobs are created. Green is also the color of environmental protectionism.
By generating green jobs and consuming green products we can make good on both goals. What could be better than generating a large number of high-paying green jobs while protecting our air, water and land? And with the right leadership in Congress these goals are indeed do-able.