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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Generating Hydrogen, Battling Earmarks

WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's been a busy week on Capitol Hill for those interested in hydrogen as an energy source.

On Thursday, the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, an industry group, holds its annual Congressional expo, complete with a caucus room full of company exhibits and rides in hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard testimony on Monday from Chevron and General Motors execs on the implementation of the hydrogen and fuel cell provision of last year's Energy Policy Act.

"We still need major technological advances to ensure hydrogen can be affordable, safe, cleanly produced and readily distributed," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., at the Monday hearing.

Just across the river in Alexandria, Va., H2Gen Innovations' 40 employees are advancing all those goals. The company's tale illustrates both the promise of the hydrogen economy and the hazards involved when the feds turn to the private sector for research and development.

Full story at Forbes.com