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Congress Cuts More Than Half Of DOE Hydrogen Research Funding

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-04 10:32 AM
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Congress Cuts More Than Half Of DOE Hydrogen Research Funding
"Lawmakers intent on delivering federal dollars to their home districts have undermined a major Department of Energy hydrogen research program by robbing it of half of its funding, forcing DOE to delay several key fuel cell studies until 2005, department officials say. DOE's "Grand Challenge" program, introduced last June, quintupled the administration's commitment to hydrogen storage research. DOE requested $30 million for the project in 2004, up from $6 million in 2002, justified by the fact that fuel storage questions are seen as one of the biggest barriers to the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

In the FY '04 Energy and Water appropriations bill, which passed in November, Congress provided $28 million for the Grand Challenge program, only slightly less than DOE requested. But in a department announcement dated Dec. 20, DOE officials said lawmakers earmarked more than half of the budget, diverting money toward activities in their home districts, some of which are unrelated to DOE's hydrogen storage efforts.

"About 50 percent of the 2004 hydrogen appropriation was earmarked by Congress for specific organizations (not necessarily for hydrogen storage)," DOE told potential grant applicants in the memo. "Therefore, the 2004 hydrogen storage budget is approximately $14 ."

With that scaled-down budget, DOE said it will continue with ongoing projects and launch seven new projects selected in 2002. But the department will not be able to pay for this year's hydrogen storage research projects, the first year of an estimated $125 million for 15 storage projects over a five year period."

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Ready4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-04 10:49 AM
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1. 28, or 14 MILLION?
That's chump change compared to the importance of weening the US off the pertrochemical teat. To my mind it almost doesn't matter if that level of funding is removed entirely, as it's not enough to have a chance of positive results.

Alternative and advance energy studies need billions, not millions, imho.
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