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Alternative Fuels

February 25, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 8
Is hydrogen the fuel of the future?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Cars that run on hydrogen, like this Toyota prototype at the 22nd World Gas Conference in Tokyo in June 2003, someday may help the world switch to clean-burning alternatives to fossil fuels.  (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)
Cars that run on hydrogen, like this Toyota prototype at the 22nd World Gas Conference in Tokyo in June 2003, someday may help the world switch to clean-burning alternatives to fossil fuels. (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)

Recent breakthroughs in hydrogen fuel-cell technology offer new hope that the United States could one day end its dependence on fossil fuels. Proponents of renewable fuels say non-polluting hydrogen could not only help end U.S. reliance on Middle Eastern oil but also dramatically reduce air pollution and emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas linked to global warming. The Bush administration is intensifying its support for fuel cells, including a proposal to spend $1.2 billion on hydrogen research over the next five years. But even critics who foresee a major role for hydrogen fuel cells note the administration is also proposing to increase domestic production of highly polluting fossil fuels, both to generate electricity and power cars as well as to produce hydrogen itself. Critics also say the administration is continuing to reject caps on carbon emissions and underfund subsidies for wind power and other renewable-energy technologies.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Alternative Energy
Sep. 29, 2006  Biofuels Boom
Feb. 25, 2005  Alternative Fuels
Nov. 07, 1997  Renewable Energy
Jul. 09, 1993  Electric Cars
Jul. 10, 1992  Alternative Energy
Mar. 26, 1982  Solar Energy's Uneasy Transition
Nov. 20, 1981  Wind and Water: Expanding Energy Technologies
Aug. 31, 1979  Synthetic Fuels
Nov. 12, 1976  Solar Energy
Mar. 14, 1973  New Energy Sources
Aug. 14, 1968  Steam and Electric Autos
Jan. 22, 1929  Federal Water Power Policy
Oct. 08, 1928  Status of the Muscle Shoals Project
Jan. 26, 1927  The Colorado River Problem
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Energy and the Environment
Renewable Energy Resources and Alternative Fuels
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