When controversial governor Arnold Schwarzenegger left office he left behind him an economic crisis, high unemployment and a partially built California hydrogen highway system. Because the economy is in the tank, unemployment is high and getting higher with state employees such as teachers being layed off and a housing crisis in full force, many Californians such as myself wondered if the promise of hydrogen autos and green energy would be kicked to the curb.
Assembly Bill 118 was unanimously adopted this week and authorized the Energy Commission to “… provide approximately $100 million annually over seven years to encourage new fuels and technologies.”
In addition, “The 2011-2012 plan allocates $100 million to encourage this menu of transportation investments … $8.5 million to support hydrogen fueling stations and to demonstrate fuel cell technology. Fuel cell vehicles are expected to number in the tens of thousands in California after 2015.”
The bill also calls for “$8 million to develop and demonstrate technology that will improve the efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Battery electric applications, hybrid hydraulics, fuel cells and other advanced technology can make these on- and off-road vehicles cleaner and more efficient. Although medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up only 4 percent of the state’s transportation mix, they account for 16 percent of the state’s petroleum consumption and its greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.”
Here is a PDF document of the entire press release that outlines not only how California will invest specifically in hydrogen autos and infrastructure but also other green auto technology as well. And while the naysayers are grumbling that this will hurt the economy the fact is that these measures will create thousands of high paying green jobs, something sorely needed now in the Golden State (and of course other states as well).