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Bush Promotes Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research - 2003-02-07

President Bush wants Congress to increase funding for research into cars that use clean-burning hydrogen. Mr. Bush says hydrogen cars will reduce pollution and lessen America's dependence on foreign oil.

President Bush says he wants Congress to embrace innovation and change the way Americans do business, by spending $1.2 billion over the next five years to fund research into hydrogen fuel cells.

"We can change our dependence upon foreign sources of energy," he said. "We can help with the quality of the air. We can make a fundamental difference for the future of our children. By what we do today, we can make a tremendous difference for the future of this country."

Clean burning hydrogen fuel cells are still ten times more expensive to build than conventional automobile engines.

The president's plan to bring that technology from the laboratory to the street focuses on establishing hydrogen fueling stations so consumers will buy those cars when they are expected to come on the market in the next 10 years.

By the year 2040, the White House says hydrogen fuel cells could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 500 million metric tons and reduce oil consumption by 11 million barrels a day.