May 8, 2009 | 43
In the newly released budget, the U.S. Department of Energy cuts $100 million from the hydrogen fuel cell program in fiscal year 2010 and transforms its name to "fuel cell technologies." Hydrogen, of course, is just the fuel of a fuel cell—a device that recombines hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and electrical current. Still, the name change distances the Obama administration from the "hydrogen economy" goals of their predecessors.
"We asked ourselves, 'Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will convert to a hydrogen car economy?' The answer, we felt, was 'No,'" said energy secretary Steven Chu in a briefing on the budget for reporters yesterday, citing the need for better fuel cells and a near complete lack of infrastructure.
Feb 10, 2009 | 4
The Obama administration today shelved a Bush administration plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, delaying a final decision on the controversial policy for at least six months to give states, enviros and others time to weigh in on it.
In announcing the move, Interior Sec. Ken Salazar said that more time was needed to mull offshore renewable energy alternatives "torpedoed" by Bush officials in favor of oil and natural gas. "To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information, we need to set aside" the plan, he said in a statement, "and create our own timeline."
Salazar also ordered the Interior Department to report on potential renewable energy sources such as wave and wind on the Outer Continental Shelf (where the feds oversee 1.7 billion acres), noting that the Bush policy was based on data that is "thin" and at least 20 to 30 years old.
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