Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says a Senate subcommittee has approved 250-thousand dollars a project in Des Moines to explore the use of hydrogen powered cars. Harkin says the goal is to demonstrate the cost-effective operation of a fleet of hydrogen-electric vehicles converted to run on hydrogen made from ethanol.
Harkin, a democrat, says its a small project to test the feasibility of the idea. He says it’s to show proof of concept in a few vehicles to show it works. The money is in an appropriations bill that still must be approved by the full House and Senate.
On another topic, Harkin says his vote against the call for an amendment to ban flag burning was the same as his vote on the same issue 16 years ago. Harkin says, “The flag is an important symbol of our democracy. None of us should ever do anything to show disrespect for the flag. At the same time I will never do anything that would diminish the freedom that our flag represents. If you truly believe that the first amendment guarantees free speech as it does, then you have to believe in the people’s right to express themselves, even if that expression is offensive to us.”
Harkin says there’s a reason the vote always comes before the Fourth of July and in an election year, “Pure politics, on the part of the republicans.” Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, voted for the amendment.