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Byron McCormick resigns in protest of no hydrogen budget

Standing on Principle

From: byron McCormick
Subject: My Resignation no hydrogen budget
Date: May 11, 2009 1:25:40 PM EDT
To: [email protected]

Dear Secretary Chu:

Following your decision to zero funding for Hydrogen fuel cells for transportation, I have unfortunately spent the weekend answering emails from my colleagues at Automotive OEM’s worldwide, scientific colleagues involved in the National Academy of Science study, and colleagues on HTAC itself.

No hydrogen budget

As I have the broad experience of developing, manufacturing, and fielding Batteries, EV’s, Hybrid vehicles, fuel cells, electric propulsion systems, and Fuel Cell Vehicles, and understand the technical, regulatory, environmental, and business issues involved, I am both perplexed and confused by your decision to zero the budget.

Like my colleagues from the other global OEM’s who wrote me this weekend I’ve spent the last 35 years of my life developing real hardware, fielding real hardware, learning the lessons that the customers and real experience teach us, and developing business understandings as to what it takes to make a sustainable/viable business with products customers will purchase.

I also know that there are many well-meaning passionate advocates who do not have that relevant experience and make their cases based on idealized models or non-realistic or scientifically supportable assumptions. So, I in no way mean to demean them or you in my disagreement with your decision.

However, since I have recently retired to New Mexico, and am as a result being very selective as to where and on what pursuit’s I spend my time and energy, I have decided to resign from HTAC and focus my attention/experience/knowledge with those who will be moving ahead to make it happens.

I want to wish you the best of luck in developing an energy policy for the United States.

I moved from the semiconductor industry to energy in 1974 because of my passionate belief in the criticality of sustainable energy/environmentally appropriate energy to the well-being of future generations of US citizens. My hope is for huge success in creating the energy/environment vision as outlined by President Obama.

Byron McCormick

Byron McCormick was on the advisory committee of the U.S. Energy Department’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical. Until last year, McCormick had been serving as GM’s executive director for fuel cell development.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.