President's Address to Shape the Future of Hydrogen, Energy Security, the Environment

Jan 30, 2003, 00:00 ET from National Hydrogen Association

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Hydrogen Association
 (NHA) commends President Bush's commitment to the research and development of
 hydrogen-powered automobiles through the FreedomFUEL Initiative.  The NHA
 believes the President's proposal to allocate $1.2 billion shows a firm
 dedication to the development of a hydrogen infrastructure which will be
 necessary to build a hydrogen economy.  The funding, part of Bush's energy
 security plan "to promote energy independence ... while dramatically improving
 the environment," is a large step forward for hydrogen as the link between the
 fossil fuels of today and the clean, self-sufficient energy of tomorrow.
     "We're thrilled with President Bush's commitment and the emphasis he
 placed on developing applications for hydrogen," commented NHA President, Jeff
 Serfass.  "Particularly, we support the President's recognition that hydrogen
 will play an important role in ensuring energy security as well as protecting
 the environment."
     Bush's proposal is the most recent in a series of initiatives that the
 Administration has supported since the announcement of its National Energy
 Policy, in May 2001.  The National Energy Policy proposed that hydrogen would
 be an important clean energy carrier for the future.  Later, in January 2002,
 FreedomCAR was announced, the Cooperative for Automotive Research between
 General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler, which was designed to address the
 need for the development of fuel cell technology.
     "Ford supports and applauds the President's initiative to strengthen the
 hydrogen fuel and fuel cell research programs in the U.S.," reports Carolyn
 Brown, Ford's Manager of Environmental and Safety Public Affairs.  "[The
 President's Address] complements the FreedomCAR program by engaging energy
 providers under the President's FreedomFUEL Initiative to develop a hydrogen
 fuel infrastructure."
     Today, the common denominator among NHA members has been an appreciation
 for this energized federal support and the recognition that we must build a
 hydrogen infrastructure to support the development of hydrogen-powered
 automobiles.  This framework of policy and implementation will be essential to
 implementing the "technological innovations" which Bush says will drive "the
 greatest environmental progress of this century."
     "The President's hydrogen initiative will put the Nation on the best
 pathway towards greater energy independence and a better environment," said
 Ken Cole, General Motors' Vice President of Government Relations.  "We're very
 encouraged by the initial description of the President's plan."
     BMW also expressed enthusiasm.  "We are pleased that the President has
 emphasized the importance of hydrogen as a future fuel for automobiles," said
 Karl-Heinz Ziwica, General Manager of BMW of North America.  "We hope that
 this program will also focus on the infrastructure and related technologies
 for the fuel cell."
     The FreedomFUEL Initiative, combined with industry investments will ensure
 the commercialization of fuel cells by first building a sound foundation for
 the commercialization of hydrogen.  Currently, auto manufacturers are
 developing hydrogen-powered automobiles using both fuel cells (where hydrogen
 is converted through a chemical reaction with oxygen to produce electricity
 and water), and internal combustion engines for propulsion.
     "The NHA looks forward to working with our members and partners to
 maintain a national focus on hydrogen as the "FreedomFUEL," said NHA Chairman
 and ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures VP of Hydrogen Systems, Gene Nemanich.
 "Hydrogen is an important part of the answer to the Nation's ever-growing
 energy demand, energy security and our responsibility to protect the
     About the National Hydrogen Association
     The NHA has seventy members, including energy companies, automotive
 manufacturers, industrial gas suppliers, fuel cell developers, and other
 businesses, large and small, as well as government, and academia.  Although
 membership is diverse, all are interested in the future of hydrogen as an
 energy carrier, and dedicated to commercializing hydrogen-related energy
     The mission of the National Hydrogen Association is to foster the
 development of hydrogen technologies and their utilization in industrial and
 commercial applications and promote the transition role of hydrogen in the
 energy field.
     For more information on the National Hydrogen Association or the use of
 hydrogen as an energy carrier, please visit the NHA website at , or email us at
     The National Hydrogen Association's 14th Annual U.S. Hydrogen Conference
 and Expo USA will be held this March 4-6 at the Capital Hilton in Washington,
 D.C.  This year's theme is "Energy Security through Hydrogen."  Register or
 find out more information at .

SOURCE National Hydrogen Association