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Under Secretary of Energy Highlights Advanced Energy Technologies to Sustain America's Economic Growth

June 2, 2006 - 2:12pm

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HONEOYE FALLS, NY - U.S. Under Secretary of Energy David Garman today visited the General Motors (GM) Advanced Technologies Facility in Honeoye Falls, New York, with Rep. Randy Kuhl (NY-29th), to tour the facility and view new advanced energy technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells.  Under Secretary Garman discussed the importance of the development of hydrogen and other renewable energy sources as a key to diversifying our nation's energy mix.  The advancement of hydrogen is a key element of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), which seeks to invest in the development of clean and reliable energy technologies to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.

"The commitment of our automotive partners like GM through their leadership and investment in the research and develop of advanced technologies will help keep America on the road of advancement toward a hydrogen economy," Under Secretary Garman said.

In addition to emphasizing GM's contribution to the AEI, Under Secretary Garman discussed the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), which will continue to further America's economic vitality by providing America's next generation of scientists and researchers with the educational foundation necessary to compete in the global economy.

GM has been involved in automotive fuel cell research and development since the mid-1980s and has partnered with Shell Hydrogen to participate in DOE's National Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Project.  The demonstration project is a unique collaboration of automobile and energy industry partners and the federal government to assess hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure technology.  The goal of the project is to allow for a commercialization decision by manufacturers by 2015 with the potential to see hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in showrooms by 2020. 

Under Secretary Garman highlighted ways industry, government and educational institutions can contribute to the success of the AEI and ACI through continued emphasis on research and development of new technologies.  Together, these initiatives will continue to increase America's economic vitality through the development of alternative energy sources and will provide our next generation of scientists and researchers with the educational foundation necessary to compete in the 21st century.

During today's event, Under Secretary Garman also touted the nation's strong economy, underscored by new unemployment figures released today.  75,000 jobs were created nationwide last month and the unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest since July 2001.  Under Secretary Garman discussed positive impacts research and development of new technologies will have on strengthening America's energy and economic security.  The economy has created 5.3 million jobs since August 2003, and about 2 million of those were created over the past 12 months.  America has experienced five straight years of growth in productivity, and per capita personal income continues to rise.  These figures indicate that the American economy is strong by almost any measure.

As part of a broader effort to highlight the Bush Administration's economic and energy initiatives a number of DOE principals participated in events around the country.  Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman joined Congressman Rob Simmons (CT-2nd) at the University of Connecticut's Global Fuel Cell Center to highlight hydrogen as a fuel source for the future. Secretary Bodman also spoke at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, to emphasize the importance of science and math education for America's youth as part of the ACI.  DOE Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Karen Harbert toured and highlighted the opening of PNM's Solar Generating Station - a new solar photovoltaic plant - outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  And Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner kicked off the Energy Efficient Car Showcase with Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6th) in Frederick, Maryland, to promote President Bush's AEI.

For more information on the AEI, visit: whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/energy.

For more information about the ACI, visit: whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/aci.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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