This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 07, 2003

President Bush and Secretary Abraham Detail Hydrogen Fuel Initiative

President Bush and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham provided further details about the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative in separate speeches in early February.

On February 6th, President Bush spoke at the National Building Museum, noting that "hydrogen fuel cells represent one of the most encouraging, innovative technologies of our era." The President explained that although hydrogen will initially be produced from natural gas, it might eventually be produced from a variety of domestic energy sources, including ethanol and biomass. "If we develop hydrogen power to its full potential," said President Bush, "we can reduce our demand for oil by over 11 million barrels per day by the year 2040." See the President's speech and an accompanying White House fact sheet.

Those sentiments were echoed by Secretary Abraham on February 7th in a speech to the Economic Club of Detroit. "We believe that the hydrogen economy is our future," said the Secretary. He explained that as the President launched the FreedomCAR program a year ago to advance fuel-cell vehicles, the Bush Administration realized the need to develop a parallel effort to establish a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. "For the United States," said Secretary Abraham, "the FreedomCAR and Hydrogen Fuel programs will mean surmounting the twin challenges of dependence on foreign oil and harmful emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases."

Secretary Abraham also emphasized that the President's budget continues research and development (R&D) in technologies that will deliver improved fuel efficiencies in the near term. "Indeed, our latest budget submission requests over $100 million of investment in R&D for hybrid technology, alternative fuels, lightweight materials, and clean diesel," said the Secretary. "In fact, we are proposing to substantially increase spending on hybrid research and advanced materials." See the DOE press release, or go directly to the full speech.