Fuel Cells - A Vision Worthy of America
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
February 20, 2003

As a child of the fifties and the sixties, I witnessed two significant events during that time: the launch of Sputnik I and II, which began the "race for space" and the introduction of Volkswagen by the Germans.  In each instance Americans underestimated the capabilities of the Russians and the Germans.  We were eating humble pie before it was all over.

Similarly, we have an opportunity to be a world leader with the introduction of renewable energy forms, particularly with the hydrogen fuel cell.  Again as in the instance of the Russians and Germans in the fifties, the world is moving on with production of the hydrogen fuel cell.  Ironically, in both the fifties and in the new millenium, America suffers from being infected by success.  We must join the race to bring new energy technology into our economic mainstream.  And so we have begun the first step with the inauguration of the fuel cell technology at Brooks City Base with the help of City Public Service Board.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. When Hydrogen is combined with oxygen in a fuel cell it creates energy without creating pollution. Energy generated from hydrogen can be used to power every device that human beings use that requires energy. Using hydrogen as our primary source of energy would greatly reduce the threat that pollution generated by fossil fuels places on our planet, our health and our lives. Using hydrogen, as our primary source of energy would greatly reduce the threat of war associated with the present energy structure. Using hydrogen as our primary source of energy will generate a technological transformation that will create millions of jobs.

I believe it is America's duty to lead this transformation. I believe that America can and must be the nation that directs the effort that will make the most abundant element in the universe universally available. I believe that a world where energy is clean, affordable and available to everyone will be a healthier and safer world.  We Americans epitomize the Air Force Motto: we do the difficult immediately; the impossible a little longer.  If we can make ten million tons of hydrogen a year as we do now, then we can make 10 billion tons of hydrogen a year if we choose to. If we can power some cars and some buildings with hydrogen instead of fossil fuel as we do now, we can power all cars and all buildings with hydrogen. It is not a matter of technology; it is a matter of choice. It is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of leadership.

The great leaders of America have never chosen a goal for this nation based upon the degree of difficulty. Rather, they have chosen, lead and accomplished the goal based on a dream and its value to America and the world. I submit to you that leading the worldwide effort to move humanity into the age of hydrogen is a goal worthy of America. I submit to you that attaining this goal will result in an America that is healthier both physically and fiscally, an America more at peace with it's neighbors, and an America more at peace with itself.

Those who would call themselves leaders must see this vision. We must lead, not follow the world!  In America, as nowhere else, one person can make a difference. Every American should strive to be that person.

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