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Schwarzenegger says He Will Push Fuel Cell Cars

by Reuters
Environmental News Network, September 23, 2003

CARPINTERIA, Calif. -- Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who drives a gas-guzzling Hummer, promised this weekend that if he became governor of California he would promote hydrogen-fueled cars and solar energy.

"I want clean air, clean water, and a clean environment," the Terminator star said at a campaign appearance in Carpinteria, about 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The Republican actor, running neck-and-neck with Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, promised to cut air pollution by 50 percent in California and to forge a "public-private partnership" to create stations for hydrogen-powered cars every 20 miles on major interstate highways by 2010.

He also set a target for half of new houses in California to incorporate solar energy by 2005.

Schwarzenegger said the hydrogen supply network would inspire Detroit to build vehicles powered by fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity and produce only water as a byproduct.

"By the end of this decade we will have hundreds of thousands of cars driving with hydrogen fuel rather than fossil fuel," he said. The actor said he would fit his own Hummer which he has said has gasoline consumption of 14 miles to the gallon with a fuel cell to test the technology.

Schwarzenegger aims to replace Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in a recall vote originally set for Oct. 7. Courts are reviewing a suit aiming to postpone the poll until voting station technology is updated.

But Bill Magavern, a spokesman for the Sierra Club environmental group, noted that hydrogen itself is usually produced by fossil fuels or nuclear energy.

"Retrofitting one Hummer will not make up for the damage of the tens of thousands already on our streets and the others that will be out there because Schwarzenegger championed them," Magavern said. However, he lauded Schwarzenegger's solar power goals.

Davis, campaigning to keep his job, is due to sign new environmental laws on Monday.

Schwarzenegger says He Will Push Fuel Cell Cars
Environmental News Network, September 23, 2003

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