Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski wants to turn the state’s economy into a hydrogen economy in order to create new jobs, a cleaner environment and less dependence upon foreign oil.
According to Governor Kulongoski, “Hydrogen holds great promise and offers great possibilities, including clean energy, good jobs, and a healthy environment. I will direct Oregon’s Director of the state Department of Energy to develop a strategy to move our region toward a hydrogen economy … I have a vision of the Pacific Northwest leading the nation in producing hydrogen and reaping the environmental and economic benefits of that leadership.”
Kulongoski wants 25-percent of Oregon’s energy to come from renewable energy by 2025 and for 100-percent of the state government’s electricity to come from renewable sources in just 4 years. Governor Kulongoski is also offering increased tax credits to businesses to develop hydrogen technology. These incentives would especially benefit hydrogen auto fueling centers, as each fueling center would be considered a separate project and reap the largest tax credits possible.
As Oregon develops its hydrogen economy and especially its network on hydrogen fueling centers, another peg falls into place for a West Coast Hydrogen Highway Corridor. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has talked about his ambitious plan of developing a hydrogen highway system that runs all the way from British Columbia, Canada to Baja, California.
California currently has 22 hydrogen fueling stations (with more on the way) to support 143 hydrogen autos. British Columbia is currently building its hydrogen highway network to run between Vancouver and Whistler and is expected to be finished by the 2010 Winter Olympics. Now that Oregon has announced its intentions to develop its hydrogen infrastructure, that only leaves the state of Washington to fall in line for a West Coast Hydrogen Highway Corridor to become a reality.
What about it, Washington – are you up for the challenge?