Second Try For Calif. Hydrogen Highway

Calif.'s addiction to oil can be broken, with help -- willing or otherwise -- from oil companies.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    With a little help from our "friends" in the oil business.

    H2, take two.

    The string of hydrogen-power fueling stations stretching across California envisioned in 2008 by then-Gov. Arnold Scharzenegger -- who promised "50 to 100" of the gas station alternatives across the state by 2010 -- never materialized, in part because the oil companies with whom the state planned to partner backed out of the deal.

    Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is trying again. Oil companies are also part of the plan -- but this time around, their participation is less "one-sided," according to the San Jose Mercury News, which reported that oil companies will need to "put up their share" to build the stations or face steep fines.

    Under a plan approved in January, 15 percent of all new cars sold in California are required to be electric, hybrid, or otherwise alternative-fuel vehicles by 2025, the newspaper reported.

    Included in the deal are provisions that would require the state's biggest oil companies to get involved with building fueling stations for 10,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles, the newspaper reported.

    For every 10,000 hydrogren cars, "large oil companies would be required to build roughly 20 hydrogen fueling stations, at a cost of about $2 million each," the newspaper reported.

    Oil companies are in "open revolt," the newspaper reported, complaining that the government mandate requires the companies to "directly compete" with their own interests.