In President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, he proposed a $1.2 billion investment for hydrogen fuel cell technology research. What is not so well known is that in November 2001, the U.S. Department of Energy developed the "National Vision of America's Transition to a Hydrogen Economy-to 2030 and Beyond" leading to workshops where 250 representatives from 135 organizations projected what would be required to achieve a hydrogen economy. The conclusion was that "Hydrogen has the potential to play a major role in America's future energy system...provided that all stakeholders work together to overcome an array of technical, economic, and institutional challenges."
As a directive from the President, hydrogen was presented as a lofty solution without an interim policy strategy to stimulate the fuel efficiency during the lengthy research and development phase expected for the hydrogen fuel cell and other infrastructure requirements. This meant that issues such as raising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards (expressed in miles per gallon of a manufacturer's fleet of cars or light trucks) would not be part of the plan, sending a confusing message to domestic automakers that had already begun aggressive developments on alternative fuel vehicles. The unintended consequence of the hydrogen strategy was the creation of a dichotomy between two "green" technologies-hydrogen and alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles.