Try Hybrids and Biofuels to Wean Us Off Oil

David Morris is vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Published: 09-Jan-2004

Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President Bush announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the Union Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, "It is a goal of this state that Minnesota move to hydrogen as an increasing source of energy for its electrical power, heating and transportation needs."

The Legislature gave $10 million to the University of Minnesota primarily to investigate hydrogen and ordered state agencies to recommend further initiatives to encourage hydrogen-related businesses.

Why this infatuation with hydrogen? Because at first glance it seems an ideal fuel. Hydrogen is the planet's most abundant element. It can be extracted from water (H²O). Fuel cells in homes and cars can use hydrogen to generate pollution-free electricity.

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