Liquefied Coal: Defying Common Sense

liqufied%20coal.jpgBrilliant. That is about all I can say regarding the latest news of the recent push in Washington D.C. subsidize liquefied coal as a potential fuel source for vehicles. In this case, there is no need to make any remarks rooted in partisan leanings one way or another, as the proposal, supported by Peabody Energy, has backers on both sides of the political aisle. In fact, given the fashionable status of “alternative fuels” among the mainstream, it seems the proponents of liquefied coal are seeking to include it alongside biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen under the umbrella of the popular term. This is an abomination. Even if one were to ignore all of the ill effects of the coal mining industry on the physical landscape, the biological systems and the people who reside in the Appalachian regions of the U.S., one would have a difficult time defending the decision to develop a fuel that, when burned, is more green house gas (GHG) intensive than other fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel.
With the onset of climate change and the consensus among the scientific community that humankind must make drastic reductions in GHG emissions (due, in large part to the burning of fossil fuels) in the very near future to avoid catastrophe on a global scale, it is counterproductive (if not idiotic) to utilize taxpayer money in support of such a technology. Considering the magnitude and the gravity of the problem (no to mention the time and resources currently being spent to address the problem), it is ludicrous to invest time, energy and taxpayer money into a technology that contributes to the same problem we are attempting to solve. The idea is akin to dragging the garden hose into an already overflowing bathtub and turning on the faucet while simultaneously trying mop up the excess water from the floor.
One does not have to be an environmentalist, a climatologist or an economist to understand that investment in coal liquefaction technology defies the laws of common sense. Apparently, the afore mentioned “laws of common sense” do not apply in the District of Columbia.
******Joe Madden
Dir. of Business Development

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