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DaimlerChrysler Fuel Cell

Carol M. Browner, Administrator Environmental Protection Agency Remarks Prepared for Delivery DaimlerChrysler Fuel Cell
   Washington, D.C.
                         March 17, 1999

     Good morning. I want to thank DaimlerChrysler Chairman Eaton and Chairman Schrempp for inviting me to be here this morning. Congratulations. The technology announced today is exciting news for our health, our environment and our economy.

     A common way to phrase a question has become: "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we . . . and then fill in the blank." Whatever your pet question.

     Well, back in 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore asked: "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we have low- or zero-polluting cars?"

      It was a question that had to be asked.

     The fact is that motor vehicles pump into the atmosphere about a quarter of the air pollution that is causing global climate change and 30 percent of the smog-causing nitrous oxides.

     On top of that, the number of cars in the United States is predicted to climb from 194 million in 1993 to 270 million in 2010. With that growth comes a massive increase in both pollution and our dependence on foreign oil.

     So to help answer the question of how can we produce clean-running vehicles, the President and Vice President formed the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles -- a partnership of seven federal agencies, 20 federal laboratories and the Big Three American auto manufacturers, including the former Chrysler Corporation.

     And as Chairman Eaton recognized, PNGV has really been a catalyst for the car we see today.

     So back to the question: "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we have clean burning vehicles?" Well today we see we can. And by applying the same technology that powered us to the moon and powers the space shuttle today. Fuel cells. This clean technology leaves a trail of water vapor as it passes by, rather than clouds of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and other pollutants.

     There is no doubt that this is just the beginning. With the leadership and commitment of companies like DaimlerChrysler, cleaner cars are certain to be part of our future.  EPA will continue its work with industry to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient engines for cars, trucks, buses, and construction equipment.

     By working with business and industry as partners, I believe we can build both a thriving economy and a healthy environment for the 21st Century. Our children and grandchildren, who will inherit the next century, will look back on our efforts with gratitude and in good health.

     Thank you very much. And again, congratulations on this breakthrough.