Once again President Obama is proposing to cut the hydrogen budget from the DOE (Department of Energy). Apparently our President does think hydrogen has anything to do with clean energy since he is also proposing increasing spending on clean energy programs to $8 billion.
The hydrogen funding cuts that Obama is proposing will amount to a whopping $70 million. President Obama’s desire to cut the hydrogen budget in nothing new.
In May, 2009 the President proposed cutting the DOE’s budget for hydrogen in general by $100 million and zeroing out the budget for hydrogen autos specifically. Yes, the economy is in trouble right now with record deficits and if the overall DOE budget were cut for clean energy research and development I wouldn’t like it but I could understand it as across the board cuts have been proposed for months now in a number of government programs.
But, to cut hydrogen funding while increasing funding for other clean energy programs has nothing to do with reducing the federal deficit. According to the White House, “Following up on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for the nation to get 80 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2035, Chu said the budget would include over $8 billion for research, development, and deployment investments in clean energy technology programs. A White House fact sheet last month said that represents a one-third increase.”
Once again the President is proposing letting Japan, Germany and the other countries in the EU get a jumpstart on the U. S. in regard to building hydrogen autos and infrastructure (and then playing catch up at some future date – perhaps).
But there is still hope. In 2009, when the President made these same proposals, Congress overturned the proposal and refunded the hydrogen program. However, with a new fiscally conservative House in session the proposed cuts may become a sad reality sometime soon.