WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), founder and co-chair of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus, this week received the 2011 Pathfinder Award from the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).

FCHEA presents the Pathfinder Award annually to an individual outside the industry who furthers the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy in the United States. The award was presented to Dent prior to his remarks at the 2011 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Conference in the Washington, DC area.

“I am extremely proud to receive the 2011 Pathfinder Award from the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association,” Dent said. “I am eager to work with the Association and the members of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus to ensure the continued development of this critical, domestic clean energy.”

Dent was a founding member of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus in Congress. He is an advocate for crucial programs that advance hydrogen and fuel cell technology development and deployment. Dent is also a leader in promoting tax credits for hydrogen fueling stations and fuel cells, which have been instrumental in the commercial deployment of fuel cell systems at leading corporations and educational institutions across the U.S.

“It is a great honor to have Rep. Dent fighting side by side with us in the battle to restore adequate funding for fuel cells and hydrogen energy” said Ruth Cox, President and Executive Director of FCHEA. “Rep. Dent understands that fuel cells and electrolyzers, which operate as reverse fuel cells to generate hydrogen, are the microprocessors of the ‘Energy Age’, and fundamental to America’s competitiveness, economic growth and national security. Rep. Dent’s vision and leadership has helped spawn our commercial success to date and will be critical to ensuring the position of fuel cells and hydrogen in America’s clean energy future.”

In previous years, the Pathfinder Award has honored researchers, planners, political leaders, employees of federal and state governments, and fuel cell users and buyers. The symbol of the Pathfinder Award is the compass.