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Under pressure to remove billions of dollars from the annual budget, the Obama administration has released a plan that ends funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's clean-diesel grants and the Energy Department's hydrogen fuel-cell program. Electric transportation, on the other hand, is seen to benefit with a move to turn the current $7,500 tax credit into a point of purchase rebate.

The proposed 2012 budget also plans to steer funds away from traditional energy company tax breaks into funding to help reach the goal of one million plug-in cars by 2015 in coordination with the effort to double the amount of energy generated from "clean" sources by 2035.

As you might expect, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association is not happy with the move and has already issued a statement asking Congress to reopen the cash sluice gate. Last year's fuel cell spending allotment at the Energy Department was $49 million.

The decision to axe the clean-diesel program might be seen as more controversial since its effects were more short-term. That effort saw older diesel buses, trucks and construction vehicles retro-fitted to clean up their emissions. It had $80 million budgeted last year and had just been authorized to receive an additional $500 million over the next five years.

We're pretty sure not everyone will be pleased by this all-eggs-in-one-basket approach, but the proposal still has to go through Congress and could possibly change. We're also just as sure not everyone will agree with any changes at all...

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Microsoft Backs Away From Grid http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2012/11/20/microsoft-backs-away-slowly-from-the-grid/ Fuel Cell Energy Announces Sale of a 14.9MW Fuel Cell Park in Connecticut http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2012/december/fuelcell-energy-announces-sale-of-a-149-mw-fuel-cell-park-in-connecticut "New fuel cell sewage gas station in Orange County, CA may be world's first" http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/orange_county&id=8310315 "It is here today and it is deployable today," said Tom Mutchler of Air Products and Chemicals Inc., a sponsor and developer of the project. also Construction of world's largest fuel cell power plant. (in South Korea? with USA developed fuel cell technology??) http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2012/october/construction-of-worlds-largest-fuel-cell-power-plant-expected-to-commence-in-2012 and 2.8MW fuel cell using biogas now operating; Largest PPA of its kind in North America http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2012/october/28-mw-fuel-cell-using-biogas-now-operating-largest-ppa-of-its-kind-in-north-america
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pres. Obama clearly has no idea about the benefits of Fuel Cell Technology! And his buddy Steven Chu (Energy Sec.???) that was a good call... the only thing these guys know is how to read a book! Secretary of Energy Steven Chu claimed it would take four technological miracles to make fuel cell cars viable in the marketplace. "Simply put, he's wrong on those points. He has bad advice," Honda's Steve Ellis said at one of southeast Michigan's few hydrogen fueling stations. "Automakers are not foolish. We're not going to invest in technology that we see as a dead end." Thanks for shipping the USA's technology to other countries... Worlds largest Fuel Cell Plant. http://www.asiacleantechgateway.com/2011/04/s-korea-to-build-world’s-largest-fuel-cell-power-plant/ LA Times 04/21/2011 http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0421-autos-mercedes-fcell-revie20110421,0,6292650.story Pres. Obama... "Fuel Cell Technology is happening with or without you!" You are not as smart as I thought... Windmills and Solar Panels? Gee what happens when its raining? What happens at nightime? That's a 50% reduction right there... and if there is no wind... there is no electricity genius! How many birds are going to fly into a spinning turbine blade? Let's HOPE and PRAY right? What a JOKE! here is a link: Honda's FCV "Clarity" 60 MPG... on Hydrogen... byproduct? PURE WATER and Heat... get it yet? http://www.npr.org/2011/04/19/135518929/automakers-try-to-sell-government-on-fuel-cell-cars Steven Chu - the USA Secretary of Energy ... wow hahahahahahahahahaha... good luck! I think you have no chance in 2012... you lost many votes... and FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY!
      • 4 Years Ago
      We have to sober up here and face facts. The oil economy, as Obama said, is the energy of the past. It's also the energy of the present and it's not going away any time soon regardless of the idealism. The change over will be evolutionary and certainly not revolutionary. Nearly everything we do or use involves oil.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even though I'm not a huge Diesel fan, cleaning up construction equipment and buses is critical. These vehicles will be used whether they are cleaned up or not, so not cleaning them up is a serious concern.

      For the streets, I think emphasizing EVs is great and EREVs is good too.

      Between the high price of Diesel right now in California and the reduction of Diesel rebates, it's going to be a bit of a slow period for Diesel passenger vehicles sales.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Yeah. Someone needs to explain to Obama that diesel will be the fuel for long haul trucking for the foreseeable future. Show me the battery that can hold the equivalent energy of 100 gallons of diesel- this is what long haul truckers need.

        Good thing that the President's budget (regardless of party) is nothing more than a PR stunt. The house writes the real budget.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Yep, diesel trucks are by far the stinkiest vehicles I encounter on my commute.

        Trying to ride a bike along many roads feels like inviting lung disease. Getting older diesels retrofitted with particulate and NOx traps would go a long way towards cleaning up the air along roadways and in urban areas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Excellent news. It's nice that we have some rational minds in government. Chu tried to end the hydrogen BS a few years ago but special interests prevented it from happening.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Well, the special interests will try again, except this time their Republican friends will have a hard time explaining the giveaway to their tea-party base. So who will they obey, Big Oil or the "no tax no spending" crowd? Either way, it's going to be fun to watch.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Frustrating more likely. The fun factor is limited when they are playing with our money and our future.
      • 4 Years Ago
      stop the wars and give me the money and I'll have us in ufos in no time.
      too little too late obama. you failed. so did chu. an F
        • 4 Months Ago
        If you built it it wouldn't be a UFO. It'd be a Dan F Deathmachine.

        Sounds like a winner.
        • 4 Months Ago
        BAHAHAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh, Dan.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hurra, they stop subsidies, now it's time to put these simple products for sale to consumers or die. Stop any gasoline/diesel expenditures. Start shopping for any hydrogen products. It's as low as 1000$ to fully convert an old 70's lincoln or caddillac or daytona chrysler to hydrogen operation.

      Let ford, gm, chrysler die forever if tomorrow they don't start to sell hydrogen gadjetry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Listen to you guys arguing who is beating their children less...it is Anti-American to support gasoline, and pro American to support a domestic, renewable and clean(er) fuel.
      The Oil companies had their 100 year monopoly...let's get off of gasoline first than argue and research new solutions later...not while we co0ntinue to spend a trillion dollars a year on direct gasoline costs and our nations treasury and brave military on protecting the sources of the black smack...what the hell is wrong with you guys?
        • 4 Months Ago
        Obama, in his State of the Union address, already called for the elimination of all subsidies and tax credits to the oil companies. (The look on Boehner's face when Obama said that - priceless!)

        It puts the Republican House leadership in a very uncomfortable position, either they upset their oil company buddies by actually cutting those subsidies, or they become total budget hypocrites and upset their tea-party base by refusing to cut those subsidies.

        BTW, the oil companies are all in favor of hydrogen as a "future fuel", as they already produce hydrogen, they have the cheapest source of hydrogen, and they fully intend to sell us that profitable H2 fuel when the oil runs low.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is exactly what we need. Forgetting the fuel of the past, with all it's many faults, and concentrating on the future fuel. Electric!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not enthused that FCVs will be loosing funding, but I'm consoled by the fact that they're pretty much commercially ready.

      We've hashed this out time after time - that the carmakers can make workable FCVs, and that hydrogen fuel can be made and supplied economically.

      The major remaining impediment is the consolidation and implementation of the appropriate codes and standards and regulations.

      Germany, Japan, and Korean will play a large role in introducing FCVs into the global marketplace. The UK is also very close, as are the Nordic nations. Perhaps the US will be a little behind tech-wise, but that's pretty much the way it's always been, so I'm not too put out about it. GM still has there program, as does Ford - they'll just continue their tradition of selling more advanced vehicles overseas that what we can get here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do so many think there is no such thing as an honorable businessman earning a living by producing a service or product that others wish to purchase?

      The true thieves are the government boodlers who steal from the people and accept bribes to payoff somebusinees cronies while keeping the majority of the funds as "adminstrative expenses". The best way to end this is simply to do away with the programs.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Stan, the problem with many so-called honorable businessmen is that they don't pay for the externalities of the problems they create while they earn a living.

        They want you and I to pay for the damage their products cause, while they pocket all the profits. It's called Socializing the risks, while Privatizing the profits. I guess you are pro-Socialism, but only when it makes you money?

        In the case of oil, much of this Socialization of the damages falls on the shoulders of US taxpayers, while the Privatizing of profits goes to fund foreign governments who openly oppose US global interests. I guess you like funding our enemies?

        Or did you just mean to write some mindless diatribe based upon political dogma, without thought to actual consequence? If so, mission accomplished!
        • 4 Months Ago
        Stan, why do you think there is no such thing as an honorable government official, earning an honest living by serving the public?

        Fact is, in both business and government, there are the good and the bad, the honest and hardworking vs. the corrupt and conniving. Your simple minded "Business Good, Government Bad" mantra doesn't match reality.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Oh, and those business cronies of the "government boodlers", are they honorable ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm all for clean diesel and cleaning up polluting heavy vehicle emissions, but on the other hand the natural replacement rate of buses and trucks will take them off the roads eventually. As for hydrogen, we're way past the VHS/Beta moment there, I think. Hydrogen technology may well have a future, but it ain't today.
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