It was huge news back in May when President Obama and the DOE slashed hydrogen vehicle funding from the FY 2010 DOE budget. Since then, hydrogen advocates like CARB have put on the best possible face and asked the DOE to restore the funds. The first steps towards officially putting H2 back into the federal money stream has now been made in Washington, D.C.
The change comes from the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, run by U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) The subcommittee has finished marking up the DOE's FY 2010 budget and it now includes $190 million for continuation of the terminated hydrogen research and development program. Dorgan said in a release that "because ongoing research and development is necessary to develop game-changing technologies, this bill also restores funding for Hydrogen energy research." Hydrogen advocate Greg Blencoe notes that the House's version of hydrogen funding includes $108 million, including $40 million for hydrogen vehicles. The two chambers will reconcile their differences soon, probably within the next two weeks.
There's a copy of the National Hydrogen Association's most recent Policy Update after the jump and you can find the subcommittee's press release on this page (scroll to the middle and click on "Summary of FY 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations"). DOE head Stephen Chu has made strong comments in favor of the cut. Is a hydrogen political fight brewing in D.C.?