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
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
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
For more information on the National Hydrogen Association or the use of
hydrogen as an energy carrier, please visit the NHA website at
http://www.HydrogenUS.org , or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.HydrogenConference.org .
SOURCE National Hydrogen Association