Los Angeles (November 1, 2007) – Switching from gasoline-powered cars to hydrogen cars would not reduce greenhouse gas emissions nor would it eliminate America’s dependence on the Middle East’s energy supplies, according to a new Reason Foundation study.
The Reason Foundation report shows that if the U.S. replaced 20 percent of today’s vehicles with hydrogen cars, CO2 emissions would either drop a tiny amount from 1.67 billion tons per year to 1.63 billion tons, or actually rise to 2.13 billion tons a year, depending upon what method is used to produce the hydrogen.
“Hydrogen isn’t the quick-fix we’ve been led to believe it could be,” said Adrian Moore, vice president of research at Reason Foundation and the study’s project director. “Producing and transporting hydrogen for use in fuel-cell cars requires significant amounts of conventional energy and therefore won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When you look at the facts you see hydrogen isn’t a solution to global warming and it isn’t going to decrease our dependence on foreign energy.”
While hydrogen cars would reduce American reliance on crude oil, they would also significantly increase the need for foreign-produced natural gas. The countries with the largest natural gas reserves are Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“In order to become energy independent, we will need new sources of energy, such as solar polar, wind power and safe nuclear power,” said William J. Korchinski, the study’s author. “We are better off investing in new sources of energy, than we are in infrastructure and an economy built around the production and distribution of hydrogen, which requires more energy than we use now.”
Full Report Online
Are Hydrogen Cars Good for America? is available online at reason.org/ps363.pdf.
Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason Foundation produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason, and its website www.reason.com. Reason Foundation also hosts Reason.tv, an online community showcasing the best free market ideas and videos on the Internet. For more information about Reason Foundation, please visit www.reason.org.
Adrian Moore, Vice President of Research, Reason Foundation, (661) 477-3107
Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109