Senator Alexander Proposes Hydrogen Amendment Adopted By Senate Energy Committee

Posted on April 8, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Energy Subcommittee, today introduced a consensus, bipartisan amendment to the omnibus energy bill. The amendment includes the hydrogen car and fuel initiative that President Bush unveiled in his 2003 State of the Union Address. "This is the start of a major national research commitment to make our air cleaner and our country less dependent on foreign oil," Alexander said during a meeting of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Alexander's amendment focuses the nation's energy policy on cleaner air and less dependence on foreign oil by exploring the possibility of a hydrogen economy; developing next generation technology including hydrogen; and steering research and development efforts to integrate current programs regarding hydrogen, fuel cells and distribution. The amendment provides close to $3 billion over five years for hydrogen programs, including $1.3 billion for the President's hydrogen initiative that will fund research and development of hydrogen engines, systems, automotive materials and fuels. It also calls for:
  • Production of hydrogen from renewable sources, fossil fuels, natural gas and nuclear energy;
  • Delivery of hydrogen through pipelines and fueling stations;
  • Storage of hydrogen;
  • Fuel Cell Research; and
  • Necessary hydrogen safety codes.
The proposal creates a university-education degree program designed to help our workforce move to a hydrogen economy. It also establishes an advisory committee of 12 - 25 members from domestic industry, automakers, universities, professional societies, federal laboratories, financial institutions and environmental organizations. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, along with the other national labs across the country, will be eligible to participate in hydrogen research and development. Alexander's amendment replaces the original hydrogen title in the omnibus energy bill. It was adopted today in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as part of the energy bill mark up process.