While the federal government and the auto industry are moving toward hydrogen-powered vehicles, a Midwest energy expert says corn-based ethanol is the better way to go. David Morris says ethanol is less expensive and would more quickly wean the country from foreign oil, while helping further reduce pollution. Morris says “If you have a hydrogen car, a fuel cell car, you don’t have pollution at the tailpipe. You have a small amount of emissions that would come from a 100-percent ethanol car.” Morris, who served on Congressional advisory energy committees in the Clinton and Bush administrations, says there’s pollution when hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels. While some envision us driving hydrogen-powered vehicles in 20 years, Morris says the advent of hybrid electric vehicles powered by 100-percent ethanol is more realistic. He says ethanol’s more efficient than hydrogen power. In the process of making the hydrogen and then compressing it, and then transporting it, and then storing it and then using it, Morris says you often use more energy than is contained in the hydrogen. While it’s true a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle would have zero tailpipe emissions, the only current way to make affordable hydrogen is by using fossil fuels.
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