December 05, 2007

Coal-To-Liquids: Not So Fast

The coal rush slowed yesterday when the company seeking to turn coal into diesel fuel at a plant in East Dubuque shelved the proposal.

Getting auto fuel from coal basically doubles the global warming pollution that comes out of a car.

Sierra Club fought the proposal, primarily because the company, Rentech, made no commitments to deal with their global warming pollution.

According to Verena Owen, chair of the Sierra Club's Illinois Clean Energy Campaign:

"Over 30 Sierra Club volunteers from Iowa and Illinois showed up and spoke up at the hearing for the Rentech facility, facing 200 some Rentech supporters. We have been working with the NRDC office in Chicago to develop comments. Rentech knows we are serious.

It is noteworthy that Rentech pulled out not only over carbon regulation uncertainty but also because of economic factors. It is clear that CTL will need substantial state and federal financing in order to get off the ground, even in Mississippi. We will have to work on not giving hand-outs to this new market for dirty coal. We can't drill or mine ourselves out of global warming."