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Environmentalists sceptical over bush claims

Friday 31 January 2003

WhitehouseAmerican green groups have greeted the environmental proposals in President Bush’s State of the Union address this week with scepticism. During the speech, which was primarily based on the ‘War on Terror’, the President outlined an improved spending plan for hydrogen fuel cell research, which would double current federal investment in the technology to around $2.5bn over the next five years.

The news was welcomed by US motor manufacturers, but environmental pressure groups saw the announcement as a cynical tactic to avoid any immediate changes, as commercial fuel cell vehicles may feasibly be up to two decades away.

Most major car manufacturers are already well into research and development programmes, with various prototype trial schemes in place. However industry watchers claim that vehicle technology is only part of the hydrogen fuel cell jigsaw, and the installation of a comprehensive refuelling infrastructure remains a significant hurdle.

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