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E-M:/ Re: President on fuel cells and hydrogen



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Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Daniel Farough wrote:

... see below ...

Hello Daniel,

I think part of you analysis of President's budget for fuel cells and the
hydrogen to power them, is a bit shortsighted. Between DOE and the auto
industry, billions have already been invested in r&d and prototype
development. Take at look at the DOE site:

Hydrogen Information Network Home Page
http://www.eren.doe.gov/hydrogen/

In addition, Michigan is in a position to lead the way with the new fuel
cell research center, NextEnergy, being built only a couple of blocks from
me, on the campus of Wayne State University: 

NextEnergy
http://www.nextenergy.org/

To ask that Detroit and others bring this technology 
online overnight doesn't address the problems: 

1) developing a fuel cell car with a price and a 
driving range that will be accepted in the market; 

2) developing a pure hydrogen infrastructure to power them rather than
powering them by stripping out the hydrogen from fossil fuels and other
hydrocarbon fuels which only adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Considering that only a few months ago, the President was claiming he
wasn't convinced that global warming was real, I think he has advanced
from that position. Given his political ties to the oil industry, I don't
think it is realistic to expect more from him than we have gotten to date.

Lowell Prag


On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Daniel Farough wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Folks,
> 
> The President's State of Union address focused considerable attention on
> energy and environmental issues.  Unfortunately the rhetoric does not match
> the substance.  Many of his proposals - Energy, Air Pollution, Logging
> Public Lands, Arctic Drilling take us in exactly the wrong direction.  Other
> proposals - fuel cells - do not move quickly enough, lack teeth and are
> likely to cede the growing market of fuel-efficient technology to our
> foreign rivals at precisely the moment we need to be moving quickly in order
> to break our dependence on foreign oil.
> 
> The Sierra Club response to the President's proposals is below.
> 
> -Dan
> 
> 
> Fuel cells:
> 
> Fuel cells are an important part of a clean energy future, but the
> President's rhetoric does not match the reality.  President Bush's
> FreedomCAR program is built on the flawed Partnership for A New Generation
> of Vehicles (PNGV), which squandered billions of taxpayer dollars in  R&D
> and did not bring a single hybrid vehicle to the marketplace.  Similarly,
> the FreedomCAR program funnels millions to Detroit without requiring that
> they produce a single fuel cell vehicle for the public to purchase.
> 
> Indeed, the auto industry is using the promise of future fuel cells as a
> shield against using existing technology to dramatically cut our oil
> dependence, and pollution, today.  This technology is sitting on the shelf
> while American Automakers dither.  Honda and Toyota are producing hybrid
> vehicles
> today, the big three are not.  Honda has stated that it is using the
> electric motor of its hybrid as the basis for the fuel cell cars which it
> is beginning to produce.  Meanwhile, FreedomCAR is re-inventing the wheel.
> Refusing to demand that the big three use modern, gas-saving technology is
> irresponsible.
> 
> The biggest single step we can take to curb global warming and cut our
> dependence on oil is to make our cars and light trucks go farther on a
> gallon of gas.  If the vehicles on the road today averaged 40 mpg, we would
> keep over 600 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of our air, and save over
> 3 million barrels of oil a day- more than we currently import from the
> Persian Gulf.
> 
> The President seems to be comfortable with the auto industry's
> approach--"Don't make us do anything today. Twenty years from now, we may
> develop fuel cells.  America can wait."
> 
> 
> Air Pollution:
> The President mentioned his so-called Clear Skies Initiative.  This proposal
> falls way short of Americans'
> goal of eliminating air pollution.  It weakens the Clean Air Act and fails
> to even address global warming.  Instead of reducing air pollution, the
> President's plan will actually result in more air pollution than currently
> allowed under current law.
> 
> At the same time, the Administration is considering weakening New Source
> Review; an important Clean Air Act program that requires antiquated power
> plants and factories to install modern pollution control equipment when they
> expand.
> For more info. on Sierra Club's position, please see
> http://www.sierraclub.org/cleanair/action/clear_skies.asp
> 
> Logging public lands:
> Under the guise of forest fire protection, the Bush Administration
> presented a plan to increase logging in National Forests.  The problem is
> that the plan won't protect the communities or forests from dangerous fires
> and will cost taxpayers in the form of subsidies to the timber industry.
> The Sierra Club has a plan that will save lives and protect communities.
> Read it at: http://www.sierraclub.org/logging/fire_protection2.asp
> 
> Energy:
> Following a series of secret meeting with energy industries, the Bush
> Administration is pushing a plan to increase use of fossil fuels instead of
> investing in the quicker, cleaner, cheaper solutions to our energy
> problems.  By increasing the fuel economy of cars, SUVs, and trucks - and
> by increasing our reliance on renewable energy sources like wind and solar
> power - we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, curb global warming,
> and save money at the same time.  Energy savings start at
> http://www.sierraclub.org/energy/
> 
> Arctic Drilling:
> The Bush Administration continues the old call to drill in the Arctic
> National Wildlife Refuge.  This despite the fact that it would take more
> than a decade to obtain a drop of oil, and then would produce less than a
> six-month supply, and the drilling would destroy one of the last truly
> pristine American landscapes left.  For more on this treasure:
> http://www.sierraclub.org/wildlands/arctic/
> 
> 
> 
> 
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