My latest Energy Party column has been well received, but a common complaint is that not EVERY plank of the platform was mentioned or elaborated upon. This from Mayor Bob Coble of Columbia:
Brad you should add a plank in your Energy Party Platform calling for research and production of hydrogen energy including hydrogen fuel cells. I know you wrote in your Sunday column that a higher gas tax after 9-11 could have been used to accelerate "…the development of hydrogen, solar, wind, clean coal, methanol-from-coal, electric cars, mass transit…" but alternate energy should be a major part of your platform.
On July 14th the Board of the National Hydrogen Association will meet in Columbia in preparation for their convention in March, which will bring to Columbia the international hydrogen and fuel cell industry’s largest companies. Becoming part of the hydrogen economy is an important economic strategy for Columbia and South Carolina. In 2008, we will build the first public hydrogen fueling station in the Southeast. Millennium Cell, a world leader in hydrogen battery technology, is moving a subsidiary company, Gecko Technologies, to Columbia. USC has the nation’s only National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells. The Savannah River National Lab and Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research are centers for hydrogen research.
Every facet of society stands to be impacted by hydrogen generated energy. A major source of global warming could disappear as well as America’s reliance on foreign oil. Our strategy is to see that Columbia is the site for much of the commercialization of the hydrogen economy.
Additionally, Innovista, which of course will promote a number of different areas of research, will be Columbia’s greatest opportunity to create jobs and increase our per capita income. According to a recent survey, 90% of City residents support the research campus and these efforts. The Association of University Technology Managers recently ranked USC number 11 out of 114 public universities in the number of start-up businesses created.
Finally, we are trying to connect our citizen to the knowledge economy. Over 8,000 students graduate from Columbia institutions of higher education each year. The Columbia Talent Magnet project is designed to keep these bright minds in the Columbia region by connecting them to existing community initiatives. Also, the USC Columbia Technology Incubator has assisted 63 companies and created 554 new jobs including 142 minority and female jobs.
The Energy Party should aggressively promote all alternate forms of energy particularly hydrogen.
Of course, hydrogen has been mentioned in earlier Energy Party documents, such as this original column. An excerpt:
Another is a Manhattan project (or Apollo Project, or insert your favorite 20th century Herculean national initiative name) to develop clean, alternative energy. South Carolina can do hydrogen, Iowa can do bio, and the politicians who will freak out about all this can supply the wind power….