Addressing Global Climate Change
Federal Energy and Carbon Sequestration Programs
Today, we have a chance to move beyond the environmental debates of the past, debates that centered around regulation and lawsuitwhat I like to call the command and control era of environmental policy, where all wisdom that seemed to emanate out of Washington, D.C., where things got hamstrung and stuck because lawyers got more involved in the process than the people on the front lines of actually improving our environment. We can move beyond that through technology, and thats what I want to discuss today. Hydrogen fuel cells represent one of the most encouraging, innovative technologies of our era. And if youre interested in our environment and if youre interested in doing whats right for the American people, if youre tired of the same old endless struggles that seem to produce nothing but noise and high bills, let us promote hydrogen fuel cells as a way to advance into the 21st century.
President George W. Bush
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative: President Bush launched the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative in his 2003 State of the Union address. The goal is to work closely with the private sector to accelerate the transition to a hydrogen economy, both on the technology of hydrogen fuel cells and a fueling infrastructure. The Presidents Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and the FreedomCAR Partnership will provide $1.7 billion over the next 5 years to develop hydrogen powered fuel cells, hydrogen infrastructure technologies, and advanced automobile technologies, allowing for commercialization by 2020. The United States will pursue international cooperation to affect a more rapid, coordinated advance for this technology that could lead to the elimination of air pollutants and a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector worldwide.
In April 2004, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced $350 million in nationwide funding for science and research projects to establish a hydrogen economy. The $350 million represents nearly one-third of the Presidents $1.2 billion Hydrogen Fuel Initiative commitment in research funding to bring hydrogen and fuel cell technology from the laboratory to the showroom. Selected through a merit-reviewed, competitive process, the projects involve 30 lead organizations and include over 100 partners. Recipients include academia, industry, and DOE national laboratories.
FutureGen Zero-Emissions, Coal-Fired Electricity Generation: In February 2003, President Bush announced that the United States would co-sponsor, with international and private sector partners, a $1 billion, 10-year demonstration project to create the worlds first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant. This project is designed to dramatically reduce air pollution and capture and store greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of an international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, chaired by the Secretary of Energy, to work cooperatively with global partners, including developing countries, on research, development, and deployment of carbon sequestration technologies in the next decade.
Fusion Energy: In January 2003, President Bush committed the United States to participate in the largest and most technologically sophisticated research project in the world to harness the promise of fusion energy, the same form of energy that powers the sun. If successful, this $5 billion, internationally-supported research project will advance progress toward producing clean, renewable, commercially-available fusion energy by the middle of the century. International partners include the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, and South Korea.