Amid automotive and bank bailouts, and massive government investment in research, one group that would seemingly be getting a healthy dose of government grants and loans has instead seen its lifeline evaporate. The hydrogen industry's $1.2B USD boost, proposed by President Bush, has been partially axed by President Barack Obama as part of several billion dollars in budget cuts.
The primary reason for forsaking the hydrogen industry, according to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, is that it’s not close enough to being marketable. Department spokesperson Tom Welch states, "The probability of deploying hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the next 10 to 20 years is low."
Mr. Welch comments that despite advances, hydrogen production, storage, and transport remain tremendous obstacles. Furthermore, he says the money needed to finance the infrastructure necessary to fuel hydrogen fuel cell vehicles -- hydrogen pipelines and refueling stations -- would be prohibitively expensive.
The cuts will reduce the $169M USD per year in funding of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies down to $68.2M USD, saving the U.S. taxpayer $100.8M USD. The cuts will virtually eliminate the automotive fuel cell research grants. The remaining funding will be used to investigate non-automotive fuel cell uses.
The funding was first proposed by President Bush during his 2003 State of the Union address. He stated, during the address, "With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free."
President Bush backed up his rhetoric by spending over $500M USD on government-funded research into transporting, distributing and storing hydrogen fuel. Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, had criticized the plan at the time for being too little to truly help. He stated, "This was window-dressing pure and simple."
Now Mr. Clapp and others are left to rethink this attitude as they remember back on the progress the industry has made over the last several years and ponder what future it might hold, without government funding and support. With auto companies worldwide in dire financial straits, and lacking the ability to spend large amounts of money on future technology research, it seems that the field of automotive hydrogen fuel cells, for the time being, is going to be greatly diminished.
quote: saving the U.S. taxpayer $100.8M USD
quote: b. NOT encourage development of hydrogen-fuel powered vehicles (which is potentially more practical than current-tech ethanol)
quote: Socialized health care
quote: abortion clinics
quote: photo ops
quote: apologizing for the worlds problems
quote: Whats he want to spend trillions on?
quote: Go to your local community college and take ECON 101 and learn something about how an economy works, the rich people give you jobs, the rich people front the resources to make the development of virtually every hugely complicated piece of equipment in our lives possible.
quote: by HinderedHindsight on May 12, 2009 at 1:13 AM To simplify my point: no rich person can wave their magic money clip and instantaneously create jobs... If they did, we would be experiencing as many foreclosures due to the increasing unemployment rate.
quote: Can't we get over this stupid "R vs. D" my party good their party bad petty pointless argument and start caring about what's happening to our freaking country already!?
quote: there is no way we can maintain the spending levels we have apparently become accustomed to and keep tax levels somewhere south of outright oppressive!
quote: and can we quit complaining about "tax cuts for the rich" already?!Newsflash! IF YOU TOOK EVERY DIME MADE OVER 75 GRAND FROM EVERY "RICH" PERSON IT WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS CRAP!!!
quote: Go to your local community college and take ECON 101 and learn something about how an economy works, the rich people give you jobs,
quote: go look up the numbers from the IRS and find out who pays the taxes in this country it might surprise you.
quote: There is no "cost" of Bush's tax cuts.There is a "cost" of having government programs. These costs are covered by taxes.
quote: For someone concerned about the deficit, you'd think you'd be able to put 2 and 2 together to realize that the tax cuts for the wealthy caused our deficit to soar.
quote: spend trillions on things the vast majority of the country doesn't want
quote: quote:spend trillions on things the vast majority of the country doesn't wantWell, hold on a second. To be fair, the majority of the country voted for the guy.
quote: Well, hold on a second. To be fair, the majority of the country voted for the guy.
quote: Well, hold on a second. To be fair, the majority of the country voted for the guy. I think the problem is that a lot of people got emotionally swept up in voting for his elaborate promises without thinking about how such promises would be accomplished. Now that Team-O is in a frenzy of printing money and power-grabbing, even the die-hards are starting to ask, "WTF".
quote: Winning a Nobel Prize ... is no joke.
quote: 3. Prescription Drugs - it IS broken when we are forced to subsidize the research for new drugs that other contries then pay 10 cents on the dollar. If the US pays for the research then the US gets the drugs until this is paid off or force other contries to contribute the same research dollars that we are forced to pay!
quote: ...spend trillions on things the vast majority of the country doesn't want.
quote: But it seems most people want GM to survive.
quote: power theft would run rampant .
quote: The initial government response to the Great Depression was ineffective, as President Hoover insisted that the economy was sound and that prosperity would soon return. Hoover believed the basic need was to restore public confidence so businesses would begin to invest and expand production, providing jobs and income to restore the economy to health. But business owners saw no reason to increase production while unsold goods clogged their shelves. By 1932 investment had dropped to less than 5 percent of its 1929 level.Convinced that a balanced federal budget was essential to restoring business confidence, Hoover sought to cut government spending and raise taxes. But in the face of a collapsing economy, this served only to reduce demand further. As conditions worsened, Hoover’s administration eventually provided emergency loans to banks and industry, expanded public works, and helped states offer relief. But it was too little, too late.The epitome of a “self-made man,” Hoover believed in individualism and self-reliance. As more and more Americans lost jobs and faced hunger, Hoover asserted that “mutual self-help through voluntary giving” was the way to meet people’s needs. Private giving increased greatly, reaching a record high in 1932, but charitable organizations were overwhelmed by the enormous number of people in need. To many, government assistance seemed the only answer, but Hoover was convinced that giving federal relief payments would undermine recipients’ self-reliance, and he resisted this step throughout his term....Hoover and most of his Republican Party firmly supported protective tariffs to block imports and stimulate the American economy by increasing sales of American-made products. In 1930 they enacted the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, which established the highest average tariff in American history. This was a crushing blow to European economies, which were already sinking into depression. Other nations retaliated by raising their own tariffs. This action helped to worsen and spread the depression by choking off international trade. Between 1929 and 1932 the total value of world trade had declined by more than half.
quote: Hoover sought to cut government spending and raise taxes . But in the face of a collapsing economy, this served only to reduce demand further.
quote: Why do so many people feel that a single article from a libertarian economic think tank outweighs decades of popular understanding?
quote: Text"nuh-unh, that's not what I said,...I said,..."
quote: How terrible would it be if we lost what? 100 000 jobs at 8-9$ an hour. That would be a huge hit to our economy.....
quote: I'm sure than even if only 1,000 of those people started working at a power station that they'd make more money than the 100,000 who work at gas stations.
quote: you have all the pumping stations, you have all the refineries employees, need I go on?
quote: However, given that there are several promising breakthroughs in battery technology,
quote: By that time, your arguments would have been obsolete anyway.
quote: Baby steps
quote: It doesn't have any more issues than any other alternative engergy plan
quote: The first successful electric automobile in the United States was built in 1891 by William Morrison of Des Moines, Iowa
quote: It is claimed the prototype battery has three times the power output of existing batteries and can be fully charged in six minutes. However the energy capacity is about half that of normal li-ion cells.... The batteries can operate from -50 °C to over 75 °C and will not explode or result in thermal runaway even under severe conditions because they do not contain graphite-coated-metal anode electrode material.
quote: TextYou can't export natural gas without pipelines
quote: Steven Chu is a really smart guy, trust him.
quote: First of all, this was the Department of Energy's call, Obama just has to back it to the nation.