Energy independence is a very real concern for the United States. While the politics of such an endeavor are often murky and riddled with fallout from both Democrats and Republicans, the need for sustainable, renewable fuels is one that is unanimously acknowledged. Two senators, one from each party, have come together to call for increased support of hydrogen fuel cells from the federal government. The pair has put aside the traditional feud of their political alignments in the hopes that more will support their cause.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are calling upon the Department of Energy to re-evaluate their investments in a number of hydrogen fuel cell programs across the country. The federal government recently cut funding for the research and development of fuel cell technology by 40%, leaving the industry to rely heavily on private investors. The senators say that many programs have shown great success in making fuel cells more commercially viable and boosting state’s economies.
Brown and Graham, who are joined by 12 colleagues, point out the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition as one of the most successful programs in the country. Ohio has become a leader in fuel cell development. More than 100 companies dealing in fuel cell production has flocked to the state to take advantage of the resources available as well as tax credits provided by the state. More are likely to follow.
The senators are adding their voices to a growing crowd that is pressuring the Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, into reinvesting in hydrogen fuel cells.