Lipinski's Hydrogen Energy Prize Legislation Clears House Panel

[WASHINGTON, DC]  Today, House Science Committee Vice-Chairman Dan Lipinski's H-Prize Act of 2007, H.R. 632, passed the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.  The legislation, which Lipinski introduced earlier this year with Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina, would establish competitively awarded cash prizes for scientific breakthroughs in the advancement of hydrogen energy technology.  Hydrogen holds great promise as a fuel because it produces no harmful emissions and will lessen our need for increasingly expensive fossil fuels that are imported from unstable parts of the world.


"Gas prices hit a record high this week with Chicago area drivers being hit with prices upward of $3.50 per gallon," said Lipinski.  "With no end of this upward spiral in sight, Americans are being hit harder and harder in the pocketbook.  In the short term we need to pass legislation to combat price gouging at the pump and to investigate oil companies for gasoline shortages.  But the federal government must also do more to encourage innovation, tap into America's creativity and imagination, and help promote energy independence.  I believe the H-Prize Act of 2007 will do just that."


The H-Prize Act of 2007 would establish competitively awarded cash prizes to spur innovation in hydrogen energy technologies and advance the use of hydrogen as a fuel for transportation.  Every two years, four $1 million prizes would be given for advances in the production, storage, distribution, and utilization of hydrogen, and one $4 million prize would be awarded for advances in prototype hydrogen vehicles.  And at the end of ten years one grand prize of $10 million would be given for a transformational advance in hydrogen energy technology.


"An economy based on energy outside of fossil fuels is no longer implausible," explained Lipinski.  "Significant progress has been made, and with additional encouragement given to research and development, hydrogen fuel technology can be an everyday reality.  Hydrogen energy has the potential to increase our nation's energy security, fight climate change, improve our air quality, and maintain our economic competitiveness - and the H-Prize will help take us there."


The House Committee on Science and Technology is expected to consider the legislation shortly.

(May 10, 2007)


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