Representative Lipinski Reintroduces H-Prize Legislation

Representative Lipinski Reintroduces H-Prize Legislation;
Promotes U.S. Energy Independence

Washington, D.C. - Today, Representatives Dan Lipinski and Bob Inglis (R-SC) reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign fossil fuels by developing hydrogen as a viable energy resource.  The H-Prize Act of 2007 (H.R. 632), which passed the House overwhelmingly last year in a bipartisan vote of 416-6, establishes competitively awarded cash prizes for scientific breakthroughs in the advancement of hydrogen energy technology.

"A year ago in his State of the Union address, President Bush vowed to end our country's ‘addiction to oil,' yet everyday our dependence on fossil fuels, especially those from abroad, continues to increase," stated Lipinski.  "This dependence is bad for our national security, it is bad for our economic security, and it accelerates emissions that put an ever-increasing strain on our environment."

"We must free ourselves from this dependence and we must start now.  Hope is not enough.  Rhetoric is not enough.  We need to take action," Lipinski continued.  "Hydrogen has shown great potential to be a key part of the solution."

With clean water vapor as its only emission, hydrogen holds enormous promise as a fuel, though much research and development is needed before this resource will be commercially viable.  The H-Prize legislation would help overcome technical challenges related to hydrogen by offering prizes in three categories:

  • Technological Advancements - Four prizes up to $1 million awarded biennially in the categories of hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization;
  • Prototypes - One prize up to $4 million awarded biennially that forces working hydrogen vehicle prototypes to meet ambitious performance goals; and
  • Transformational Technologies - One grand prize consisting of a $10 million cash award, funded in whole or in part by federal contribution.  The goal of $40 million in additional matching funds could be awarded for development of wells-to-wheels breakthrough technologies.

"An economy based on energy outside of fossil fuels is no longer implausible," said Lipinski. "Hydrogen has the potential to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve our air quality, lower climate changing greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain our economic competitiveness - the H-Prize is an innovative way to get us there."

(January 23, 2007)