Shortly after taking office, President Obama gutted a $1.2 billion Bush administration R&D program designed to bring hydrogen-fueled cars to market.
President Bush said in 2003 the project would “make our air significantly cleaner and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy.” An Energy Department advisory panel reported last year that the technology wasn’t a “distant dream,” and that Japan, Korea, China and the EU were “aggressively” investing in hydrogen cars with plans to commercialize them in 2015.
But Obama decided instead to invest billions of dollars in electric cars — a technology that dates back more than 150 years but has yet to succeed commercially.
The episode stands in stark contrast to the president’s depiction of his energy policies as ones that “invest in stuff that’s new” and “stop subsidizing stuff that’s old.”
In fact, several of Obama’s energy priorities are very “old stuff,” much of it predating the gasoline engine, and little finding much commercial success despite massive public investments.