Lipinski Calls for Continued Federal Support for Alternative Energy

CHICAGO, IL - Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, hosted an event at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to showcase several hydrogen powered vehicles and draw attention to the continued need for federal support for alternative energy sources.


"Developing alternative energy sources is critical to improving our environment, reducing our reliance on foreign fossil fuels, and creating jobs for Americans," said Vice Chairman Lipinski. "Hydrogen has an especially great potential to fuel our nation, and as we see here today a hydrogen economy is within reach if we make the proper investments."


Vice Chairman Lipinski has been a leader in Congress in promoting alternative energy research, especially for hydrogen. Hydrogen vehicles have the same capabilities as fossil fuel-powered vehicles, and their only emission is water vapor.  Earlier this year Rep. Lipinski introduced H.R. 632, the H-Prize Act of 2007 which establishes $50 million in cash prizes for advances in hydrogen energy technology.  This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 408-8 on June 6, 2007, and was included in the comprehensive energy bill passed by the House this past weekend, H.R. 3221.


As set forth in H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act, federal funding levels for alternative energy programs will dramatically increase starting in Fiscal Year 2008.  Specifically, this legislation includes $2.3 billion towards research and development of hydrogen, ethanol, bioenergy, solar, geothermal and hydro energy.  These funding levels were previously approved in legislation passed by the House Committee on Science and Technology.


"Developing a new energy economy that enhances American security and protects the environment is perhaps the greatest challenge America faces today.  For the sake of America's future economic, environmental, and national security, we must rise and meet this challenge," stated Lipinski.  "I am confident that American innovators will do their part; it is up to Congress and the President to establish the policies that facilitate innovation.  We are off to a good start but we must continue to move forward."


The event featured General Motors' HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle, an IIT-designed hydrogen powered lawn mower, a hydrogen fuel cell scooter, and an IIT/City of Chicago plug-in hybrid vehicle.


Congressman Lipinski was joined at the event by:  Dr. John Anderson, President, Illinois Institute of Technology; Dr. Al Sattelberger, Associate Laboratory Director, Argonne National Laboratory; Rebecca Stanfield, State Director, Environment Illinois; Jack Darin, Director, Sierra Club of Illinois; and Joe Shacter, Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center.

(August 6, 2007)


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