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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

$10 million H-Prize passes Science Committee markup

The H-Prize Act of 2006 (HR 5143) took another step forward Wednesday as the House Science Committee passed the bill by voice vote. The bill is now expected to come before the full House as early as next week.

The most significant change came in the grand prize total of $10 million in federal funds with up to $40 million to be raised in matching private capital for commercialization. The grand prize was originally set at $100 million grand prize – $10 million in cash and $90 million in federal matching funds.

“Winning the grand prize not only confirms that the winner has technology that works but also technology that the market will support, not just something that will be put on the shelf,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), the bill’s sponsor.

Members of the Committee questioned whether the prizes had clear enough goals.

“We want to leave it to the Secretary of Energy to define the specific criteria for the awarding of the prize,” Inglis said. “Our expectation is that the Secretary will gather input from experts in the field in establishing the right metrics for the prize.”

In an exchanged with Science Committee Chairman and avid baseball fan Sherwood Boehlert, Inglis said, “The H-prize and moving to a hydrogen economy is an opportunity for a triple play – we can clean up the air, create jobs by reinventing the car and make this country more secure."

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