restored. Structural materials research is the only endeavor where the committee feels some funds should be reallocated to more critical projects.
The committee also recommended that a strategic planning assessment be performed to ensure that the program activities are adequate to achieve its goals, which are of great strategic importance to the United States. Such an assessment should be part of the recommendation to develop a broad forward-looking strategic plan and would provide a basis for determining longer-term funding needs, given the importance of U.S. energy security and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the ongoing NRC study on hydrogen resources will certainly provide useful information on priorities of the overall effort to develop a transportation system that includes hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The committee notes that the congressional practice of earmarking funds has severely restricted the ability of DOE to effectively manage some parts of its program. There is concern about insufficient funding in three other areas as well: the DOE CCS program, the DOT hydrogen safety program, and the hydrogen from biomass activity, but these concerns were not investigated in detail by the committee.