|Repeal 526 Anti-Coal Liquefaction Bill|
|Wednesday - March 09, 2011|
We've addressed the issue of Section 526 previously. It is a codicil squeezed into the books in the waning years of the Bush Administration.
It specifically prohibits our US military from buying or using Coal-derived liquid fuels.
That such a thing could even come up, and be discussed among our elected representatives, should stand as testament to the quite practical reality of Coal liquefaction technology and art.
It is so real that some among us feel it to be a threat.
Even though 526 became law during Bush's tenure, it is now the Republicans who are working to have 526 repealed - as evidenced by the initial link, above, in this note.
However, sadly, some anti-Coal groups are organizing to keep things just as they are, as witness:
wherein we learn that a collection of US and internationalorganizations organized a letter campaign directed at the US Congress, both the House and Senate.
Some excerpts from their standard/suggested letter:
Preserve Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)
May 9, 2008
Today, the Natural Resources Defense Council and 26 other U.S. and Canadian environmental groups sent a letter to the Senate and House urging preservation of Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). Section 526 prohibits the Federal purchase of dirty fuels (such as liquid coal, tar sands and oil shale) whose lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are higher than conventional fuels.
On behalf of our millions of members and activists, we urge you to oppose amendments to the 2008 National Defense Authorization Bill that would repeal section 526 of the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007. We also urge you to oppose the authorization of long-term contracting authority for unconventional fuels to the Department of Defense (DoD).
Section 526 was included in the 2007 energy bill to address concerns about spending taxpayer dollars to develop alternative fuel sources that make global warming worse. This provision bars federal agencies from entering into contracts to procure alternative (including unconventional or synthetic) transportation fuels with greater lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuel. While section 526 provides an important backstop to prevent the government from using taxpayer dollars to exacerbate global warming, it does not address the desperate need to start significantly reducing global warming emissions. Incentives like long-term contracting authority should be reserved for those technologies that will decrease global warming emissions. Even after huge capital investments in carbon capture and storage, coal-to-liquid (CTL) and other dirty fuels facilities may still only manage to reduce their lifecycle emissions to be equal to those of conventional gasoline. By authorizing 10-year contracts with such facilities, Congress is encouraging technologies that at best continue to increase transportation pollution at current rates thus exacerbating the problem of global warming.
Section 526 protects our nation's national security interests. High-ranking military officials have already warned Congress that global warming is a serious national security threat. Any steps taken by the federal government to address our dependence on oil must not exacerbate the very real national security risks posed by global warming. In this regard, section 526 serves an important national security purpose. Production of unconventional fuels, such as CTL, tar sands and oil shale emit more than twice the global warming pollution per barrel as conventional oil at a time when we must be reducing our CO2 emissions.
Section 526 does not prohibit production or importation of alternative or unconventional fuels - it simply keeps the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to support development of fuels such as CTL, tar sands and oil shale as long as their lifecycle process continues to have higher global warming pollution emissions than conventional fuels."
We'll end our excerpts there - since it's primarily the CO2 baloney they've hung their hat on.
If you have followed our posts at all, as, for just one example out of many, in:
you know that CO2 can be treated as a valuable raw material resource.
We can convert it, like Coal, into valuable liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels.
Further, our - admittedly limited - understanding is that some direct Coal liquefaction technologies, such as the WV Process, since the Coal isn't gasified, are unlikely to generate much CO2 at all in the manufacturing process, especially since the Coal tars, that are the bases for the solvents, are extracted from the processes themselves, as opposed to being, as in early versions of the art, made from Coke oven tars.Moreover, we are absolutely certain that the requirement that Coal-derived fuels emit no more lifetime CO2 that conventional petroleum, does not take into account, or allow accounting of, the fact, that, as we documented for you once or twice, petroleum and natural gas deposits, unless it's oil that's pooled close to the surface, as in Venezuela and as used to be in California, where the gas has already had opportunity to leak away, will always already be contaminated with a certain, sometimes quite large, amount of CO2 - which is most often just stripped and vented to the atmosphere, in preliminary steps, near the point of production, or, as in the case of natural gas, if the amount of entrained CO2 doesn't interfere with combustion - sometimes it does - then it is simply shipped on to the customer where it, ultimately, along with the CO2 products of combustion, winds up being emitted.
Someone, really, needs to stand up publicly, and loudly, on behalf of Coal.
That 526 could have slipped apparently unnoticed into the books, in the first place, should be source of some embarrassment, we would think, to the Coal Country press and Coal Country legislators.
Letting it sit in there, smothering our potentials for Coal Country economic growth and US energy security, without trying to at least raise a hue and cry about it, should be a source of shame.