Bush Backs Fuel Cell Efforts For Cars

PNGV program to be phased out in favor of support for fuel cell engine and infrastructure development.

Published: 09-Jan-2002

ENERGY SECRETARY Spencer Abraham, addressing an auto show in Detroit, planned Wednesday to tout hydrogen fuel cell development as part of a broader strategy to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and help the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other tailpipe pollution.

Department officials said Abraham would be joined by auto executives in unveiling the new program, called "Freedom Car." It is expected to emerge as the Bush administration's response to critics who are calling for a phase-out of gas-guzzling cars and sport utility vehicles.

Automobile fuel economy is likely to be a major issue when the Senate takes up energy legislation next month. Democrats are calling for the government to require increased auto fuel efficiency, especially as it applies to the popular SUVs.

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