7:41 PM EDT
John E. Peterson, R-PA 5th

Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Arizona for yielding me this time. I thank him and congratulate him on his amendment.

Mr. Chairman, there has never been a time when this country should be ready for alternatives. There has never been a time when we should be working together to solve our energy problems in this country and start moving away from a 60 percent dependency. It is bad enough to be 60 percent dependent, but worse when one is dependent on unstable parts of the world, some parts of it who desperately do not like us.

On the renewable side, I think one part I want to emphasize on is the hydrogen side. One of the most renewable resources in this country is hydrogen. I believe it has been undervalued as a potential. I believe it has not received, for a long time, the support it should.

This is why I have such a strong interest in the potential for the evolution of a hydrogen economy, an economy where hydrogen can compete and win both as an energy supplement, a pure energy commodity rather than simply as a chemical. Rather than suffering a dependency upon imported energy sources, we can use hydrogen produced here at home as an abundant, efficient energy source with the capacity to increase U.S. competitiveness, bringing high-salaried jobs to this country.

Secondly, hydrogen is abundant. It can be produced from a variety of renewable resources, and it has many uses, offering the promise of significant benefits to the agricultural, manufacturing, transportation, and service sectors of our economy. Our aerospace and chemical industries are ready right now to implement significant increases in the production, distribution, and storage of hydrogen as an energy commodity.

Also, hydrogen is a proven, effective carrier of energy. Today, our cars are fueled with hydrogen-enriched gasoline. Our automobile industry is developing fuel-cell powered cars, and researchers are closing in on ways to power entire communities with hydrogen technology.

There are many who feel that the Third World developing countries will be able to utilize it before us. We can create it and sell it to them, another way to increase American jobs.

I am told that hydrogen can be combined with gasoline, ethanol, methanol, or natural gas. Just adding 5 percent hydrogen to the gasoline/air mixture in an internal combustion engine can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from 30 to 40 percent. An engine converted to burn pure hydrogen produces mostly clean water as exhaust.

For example, NASA, in addition to using hydrogen to propel the space shuttle, uses hydrogen to provide all the shuttles electric power in on-board fuel cells, whose exhaust, pure water, is used to drink by those who are on the trip.

While this is no secret, some people might be surprised to know that the largest user of hydrogen is the petrochemical industry which infuses oil with growing amounts of hydrogen in order to meet environmental regulations. Hydrogen also improves the potency and lowers emissions of natural gas. I believe this is one of the most immediate targets of continuing opportunity for our industry.

Our economy is a fossil fuel-based economy, and we should be thankful for the success we have had there. But hydrogen, not only is an energy itself, but is an enhancer of the current fossil fuels.

I urge the adoption of this amendment, and I urge a stronger emphasis be put on hydrogen. There is no downside to hydrogen. It is what we should put our investment in. I believe it will be the fuel that will operate our future economy.

[Time: 19:45]