Fueling the Future

Something I'd wish would hurry up and happen soon is the development of Hydrogen Fuel Cells for powering vehicles and homes. It's sad to see the United States falling behind Europe and the rest of the developed world in converting to greener energy resources after we failed to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

When you think about where your power should be coming from in the 21st century, do you think coal? The United States relies on coal for over 50% of its power. In Michigan, coal accounts for almost 70% of power production. It's also nice to know that President Bush is relaxing coal pollution regulations, stating that Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. The lack of responsibility is astounding.

In more hopeful developments, Bush proposed in the State of the Union address back in January to spend $1.7 billion over the next 5 years on hydrogen fuel cell research. That sounds like a lot, but that's only $340 million each year. That's ironically the same amount the Iraqi oil for food program was making. Another perspecitive on this price tag is that we paid tobacco farmers $340 Million in 2000 for reduced quotas and acreage. The war in Iraq is costing us about twice as much each week. If only Bush saw pollution to be as evil as he believes Saddam to be, we would have a properly funded program, closer to the scope of the Apollo project.

Even without proper government support though, GM and other auto makers are promising mass-produced fuel cell cars by 2010. GM is betting on the long run rather than short term solutions like hybrids, stating that hydrogen-fueled cars will survive in the endgame. I'm hoping they pull it off by then because I'd like my next car to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.



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