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Removing Obstacles to Hydrogen

Rep. Chris Cox, Chairman, House Policy Committee

An entrepreneur looking to get into the hydrogen business, whether installing and running a commercial refueling station, transporting hydrogen fuel, or designing a new kind of hydrogen-powered engine, faces a wide variety of shifting codes and regulations. These can be as complex as standards for underground storage tanks or as simple as regulations on where stations can be installed.

There are also myriad federal regulations on the transportation of hydrogen fuel. Can hydrogen producers be certain of getting their hydrogen by tanker truck to a needy fueling station? Will they be impeded by seventy-year-old regulations designating hydrogen a hazardous material?

And once a hydrogen-powered car is on the road, will it actually be allowed to drive the same roads and routes as ordinary cars?

These kinds of regulatory uncertainties will hinder the development of both the cars and the infrastructure unless we find and eliminate potential regulatory obstacles now.

Congressman Cox's draft legislation:

1. Calls for an EPA study to clarify the regulatory status of chemical hydride hydrogen fueling systems.

2. Clarifies that transportation authorities should not apply regulations on travelling through tunnels on hydrogen-powered vehicles and vehicles transporting hydrogen that are more stringent than regulations governing ordinary gasoline-powered vehicles and vehicles transporting gasoline.

3. Acknowledges it is the Sense of Congress that local fire marshals are encouraged to work with national standards-setting bodies to ensure that codes and standards are no more restrictive for hydrogen than gasoline.

Contact: Howard Fienberg, (202) 225-5611



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