I invest in energy, so I have a keen interest in energy supply and demand. I think the "hydrogen economy" is a smoke screen.
Hydrogen is not a source of energy, it's an energy carrier. Energy is required to create hydrogen gas. Energy from fossil fuels, nuclear, or other energy source.
The energy yield in the creation of hydrogen is typically 14%. That means you put 100 watts in and get 14 watts out.
On top of that, the energy density of hydrogen is extremely low. Typically, hydrogen tanks are run at 10,000 PSI, and yet only yield (in the case of this honda) 6mpg. Is this sounding like a good idea yet?
To push a tractor trailer across the country, I think it takes something like 4000 gallons of hydrogen under great pressure. Hydrogen won't drive trains, aircraft, or ships because the energy density is too low. http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html
One quick fix for our energy problems is $150-$200/bbl oil. Once prices hit that level, we'll have all the oil we'll ever need (through convservation & production), and as many alternatives as we want.
Oh, and those of you thinking that gasoline prices are going to drop forever, think again. The only reason we've seen gas drop so quickly is because Mr. Paulson's Goldman firm changed the % component of gasoline in the world's biggest commodity index from 8% down to 2.5%. This created a worldwide sell-off of the stuff. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/stojan1.html
This is the problem - hydrogen and fuel cells won't alleviate our fossil fuel dependence unless we generate the hydrogen from other sources - like solar, wind, nuclear or biomass (plants).
There's an article in this week's Nature that highlights the CO2 problem - simply stopping the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 isn't enough; the amount of CO2 emissions needs to drop to the rate of CO2 accumulation by the oceans and biomass.
Oh, and Nature isn't some sort of crazy greenie moonbat publication, fyi.
Don't forget St. Louis and St. Paul, along with the Saint Lawrence river. This last one will have to be negotiated with the Canadians. Also, Illinois, Oklahoma and the Dakotas are Indian names, as well as myriad city names across the country - looks like we are making fun of the Indians and using them as "mascots", so the names have to be changed.
Well, the oil has to be pumped out of the ground in the Middle East or Venezuela or Canada (about half of what we use); the oil then has to be pumped through a pipeline to a portside terminal, where it's pumped onto an oil tanker; the oil tanker has to take it across the ocean to the United States, where it has to be refined into gasoline; the gasoline has to be transported to a distribution terminal; from the distribution terminal, the gasoline has to be loaded onto a tanker and distributed to the gas station. And then you get to pump it into your car.
So which uses more energy, performing all of the steps above to produce gasoline, or converting natural gas to hydrogen in your garage?