RE: 'They did it again' [Letter, Village News, 6/26/08]
Last updated 7/17/2008 at Noon
President Bush should be pleased that a Democrat such as Mr. Sarnataro thinks hydrogen-fueled vehicles are great. The President may be less pleased, but amused, when Mr. Sarnataro says that Democrats invented the idea. In fact, President Bush, working with the US automobile industry, created a public/private initiative early in his first term to develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
Because of their great dislike for President Bush, the Democrats went out of their way to dismiss the hydrogen-fueled vehicle program as another example of a “stupid” idea from the President. Funding and publicity for the hydrogen-fueled vehicle declined markedly because of the Democrats.
There are reasons why the hydrogen-fueled vehicle is a good idea for 20 to 30 years from now. There are reasons why it is not a good solution for the near term.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not a primary fuel. As such we will need nuclear power plants or large coal-fired power plants to produce the hydrogen. Yes, the hydrogen can be made from solar energy. But solar-hydrogen will make $5/gallon gasoline look cheap.
Soon we will begin our transition to plug-in hybrid vehicles. Even those vehicles require significant advances in battery technology. Many US companies are leaders in this area. In addition, we will need to build more power plants and transmission lines once a significant number of people rely on SDG&E to power their vehicles.
In the meantime, people can reduce gasoline costs by driving more conservatively.
David A. Rohy