The Air Force has abandoned its plans for building a coal-to-liquid plant to produce aircraft fuel. While the plan would have reduced foreign dependence, all those emissions would have kinda sucked.
In an effort to certify that all aircraft can use a 50-50 blend by 2011, the Air Force is currently purchasing fuel made by coal from Sasol of South Africa. Gary Strasburg, an Air Force spokesman, said that the B1, B52 and C-17 have all been certified to run on a coal-mix blend. The F-15, F-22, C-5 and KC-135 have all used the blend too.
But liquid fuel from coal produces more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions as conventional fuel. It’s not realistic. It’s not even a stop gap solution!
And while environmentalists might be citing this as a win, the Air Force said the decision to not build the Montana-bound plant was due to…security. Ugh. They cited a conflict between the plant and the base’s nuclear weapon storage. Strasburg said he couldn’t comment on whether there were environmental concerns for the decision at all. I am guessing…no.
Check out this article: Air Force Will Be Coal-Powered by 2011
A 2007 energy law requires that federal agencies not purchase fuels with greater greenhouse gas emissions than conventional petroleum fuels.
Henry Henderson of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said coal-to-liquid fuels “make no sense for a free economy” because they’re expensive and would require taxpayer funds to get them off the ground. “We have a very long history of trying to do this in the United States and it repeatedly results in subsidies from the public and inability to compete in any fair market place,” he said.
However, the Air Force is investigating advanced biofuels which would lower greenhouse gases.
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