Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Representative Bob Inglis (R-South Carolina) today held a press conference to recognize the leading role South Carolina plays in hydrogen research and to call for passage of President Bush’s energy bill.
“South Carolina is a leader in hydrogen research,” said Graham. “Research institutions across the state have recognized the impact hydrogen fuel technology could have on our future. Working together, they will help lead our state and nation into the next generation of fuel technology.”
"Smart cars and fuels of the future will come only from successful collaboration with capable partners," Inglis said. "Here in South Carolina we - Clemson, USC and State - the Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry - must work in common cause."
Graham recently hosted a meeting in Washington to bring together South Carolina’s leaders in hydrogen to discuss collaboration. The goal of the meeting was to help ensure everyone is working together to further the state’s image as a leading research location.
Members of South Carolina’s Congressional delegation were in attendance along with representatives from:
- University of South Carolina- The only university designated by the National Science Foundation for fuel cell research.
- Clemson University- Leader in the development of ICAR, along with BMW.
- South Carolina State University- Home of the Clyburn Transportation Center.
- Savannah River National Lab- Home of the Center for Hydrogen Research, SRS has 50+ years of experience in handling hydrogen and is positioned to be a national leader in a hydrogen economy.
“South Carolina has positioned itself well to be a major beneficiary of President Bush’s energy bill,” said Graham. “This bill contains nearly $4 billion for hydrogen research. It is the most aggressive hydrogen fuel development package in our nation’s history.”
As Co-Chairman and founder of the Senate Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus, Graham noted the hydrogen section of the energy bill is based largely on legislation he introduced with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota). That bill was the result of work done by the bipartisan caucus.
The energy bill provides $3.8 billion for hydrogen and fuel cell funding over five years, including $1.1 billion specifically for hydrogen supply research projects. In addition, it establishes demonstration programs for hydrogen technologies and fuel cell vehicles for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, calls for enhanced public education and research efforts, and provides for private sector coordination.
The bill sets a goal for the private sector of making a decision about the commercialization potential of hydrogen fuel by 2015.
“This energy bill has great potential for the future of South Carolina and the nation,” said Graham. “Working with Congressman Inglis and our entire delegation, it is my goal to make South Carolina the Detroit of hydrogen. Passing this bill will go a long way toward achieving that.”