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Bill requiring use of coal-derived fuels introduced in US House

US Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) announced that the “Clean Coal-Derived Fuels for Energy Security Act of 2011” was introduced in the House of Representatives; Critz is a an original co-sponsor of the legislation. The legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). This bill would require that certain fuels in the nation’s fuel mix contain a minimum volume of clean coal-derived fuel.

Under this legislation, the President has one year after the date of enactment to circulate regulations to refineries, blenders, distributors, and importers to ensure that covered fuel sold or introduced commercially in the United States contains the applicable volume of clean coal-derived (CCD) fuel. The fuel would apply to aviation fuel, motor vehicle fuel, home heating oil, or boiler fuel.

Under this legislation, the applicable volume of clean coal-derived fuel must be 750 million gallons by 2017. It would gradually increase to 6 billion gallons by 2024, and the President would review the program to determine the applicable volume for calendar year 2025 and beyond.

Comments

SJC

We have 200 years of coal, 100 years of natural gas and biomass is sustainable at 1 billion tons per year. We can reduce OPEC oil imports and the sooner we do the better off we will all be.

HarveyD

....the better off we will all be...... Careful, ALL is a very strong word. Did you mean 5% (the direct and indirect owners) will be better off and not much difference for the other 95% who would be paying the same high price at the pump.

ai_vin

Follow the money people, Congressman Mark S. Critz is from Coal Country.
In april 2010 he was endorsed by the United Mine Workers of America, a labor union best known for representing coal miners and coal technicians.
One month later he wins the special election.

ejj

We ARE following the money ai_vin --- 15 trillion dollars of debt & prolonged 10 percent unemployment for over 2 years. I would rather have my gasoline derived from coal vs. gasoline derived from the middle east.

SJC

All is a strong word, but in general that will be the case. I don't think even the oil guys like bribing foreign governments for access and fighting off insurgents to get to the oil. In Niger they do it off shore because the delta is too dangerous.

As far as paying at the pump, it costs to turn coal, NG or biomass into fuel. I do not say anyone should give anything away for free nor just at cost. A reasonable profit is called for as an incentive. I don't like OPEC being able to control supply and make the market unstable affecting countries all over the world.

ai_vin

You're missing the point. Having your gasoline derived from U.S. coal rather than gasoline derived from middle east oil MAY be better but are other options even better?

The point is you wont know from this guy because he's bias and the only option he's interested in pushing is coal.

SJC

Yes, these people are from coal states, we would expect that. The bill will not get through as written, but that is part of the process. RFS talks about cellulose fuels, maybe a version should be written for synthetic fuels as well.

Treehugger

the idea that coal to gas will lower the price of gas at the pump is ridiculous. Coal to gas need a high crude price, probably higher than 100$ to be economical. So don't expect too much on this side. Asides coal to gas is by no mean a panacea, it requires huge upfront investment, release large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, running cost are very high.

SJC

Synthetic fuels will not lower the price of gasoline at the pump directly and it does take a high price to make it pay off. OPEC restricts the supply, which attracts speculation which increases price volatility. This could offset some of that by providing an alternative non petroleum supply of fuel.

ejj

The Trangas project in WVA proposes to send CO2 to the GOM for enhanced oil recovery so that ultimately pays for itself ($ from CO2 pays for pipeline). It will cost a lot to set up the plant but could be paid for with a couple periods of high gas prices during the life of the project. It may not lower prices much but will help reduce the severity of price spikes from speculators. With 15 trillion of debt and prolonged 10 percent unemployment, and a failed ARRA of 2009, I'm 100% behind this. These are good long-term high paying American jobs we're talking about --- not burger flipping or construction to make some developer rich after paving over creation. I'd rather keep my energy dollars here in the US vs. sending mass amounts of cash to the middle east.

SJC

Republicans insisted that $200 billion from the ARRA go to business tax breaks the first year. Those tax breaks went into owners accounts and did not create jobs.

The assistance to keep fire, police and teachers on the job saved jobs, that is a fact that can be proven.

The building of roads, bridges and schools created jobs, that is a fact that can be proven.

HarveyD

SJC...don't feel too bad. Canada is doing much the same mistake by lowering income taxes for large businesses (including very large, very profitable banks) from 21% to 15%. It should have been more selective with more tax breaks for small businesses only. They're the one creating most jobs. The difference is that we simultaneously spent $$B on public works in the last 2 1/2 years to create jobs. Our unemployment rate is much the same as pre-2007. And we are fortunate to be a net Oil exporter.

ejj....USA's millionaires and billionaire assets are growing at the rate of about $15T/year. If they would agree not to get richer for 12 months, they could pay off 100% of the national debt by this time next year. It will not happen.

Coal to liquid fuels make sense for USA, China, Australia, Russia and a few other countries with massive coal reserves. To keep the price competitive, operators will get huge tax credits and subsidies. Cellanese Corp. could become a major player, starting with two large plants in China.

SJC

That is something like lowering taxes while you are about to wage TWO wars. Economists will tell you NEVER to do this, but you know who was not an economist so away he went and up went the debt.

johnh

"...but are other options even better?"

This may be an example of a better option than coal for those who think we need massive quantities of liquid fuels in the first place: For electricity at 3.5 cents/kWh ammonia can be produced for $1.85 per gallon of equivalent gasoline at the site of,say, stranded wind farm energy (or any wind energy for that matter since no grid is required). As readers of this site know, NH3 can be used in any ICE with no carbon pollution. Info is from: www.greennh3.com and research done at the UofMinnesota-Morris.

ejj

HarveyD wrote: "USA's millionaires and billionaire assets are growing at the rate of about $15T/year. If they would agree not to get richer for 12 months, they could pay off 100% of the national debt by this time next year. It will not happen"

Wasn't it Warren Buffett who wanted the government to raise his taxes? He and others that don't think they're paying enough are more than welcome to make donations to the federal government. However, I don't think tax hikes are the answer --- we have de-incentivized success and achievement enough in recent years with Obamanomics.

Treehugger

I agree that Coal to gas might be a better option than exporting coal to china as they are trying to do in Wyoming as domestic consumption is planned to decrease with the decommissioning of coal fired plant.Being say it still not a very exciting idea, not much better than drilling along the coast of California.

ejj

I bet California, maybe Oregon and Washington too have vast untapped oil reserves offshore. California had massive reserves onshore, and there are still companies drilling onshore there. Yet California shut down new offshore drilling decades and decades ago, and new drilling technology has advanced significantly...

SJC

California provides 40% of its own oil. Bakersfield and other locations are still producing oil using advanced techniques. Ever since the offshore Santa Barbara oil spill decades ago, Californians have been against offshore production. The latest estimates are lower for offshore oil reserves anyway, to it is better to use conservation, efficiency and alternatives.

GreenPlease

IMO, there are likely very large deposits off the western coast of the U.S. These should be surveyed and "provisionally" permitted to be drilled in a time of national emergency.

CTL is a bad idea unless you go the NH3 route (ammonia). At least that way it's a bridge fuel that can be made with wind power in the future.

Lad

Please let me remind the reader; in between the request to use "clean coal" lies the consequences of doing so: Coal is the worse of the sinful fossil fuels for contamination It leaves not only polluted air when burned but tons of deadly toxic heavy metal mountains of ash that are contained in lakes of water just waiting to be let loose into watersheds by nature.

And, yes what about the mining practices of leveling mountains and filling valleys, again, killing the drinking water.

Coal is a demon disguised as wealth: it kills the poor at the will of the rich and should not continue to be let lose on the world when there are alternatives that will serve as as a better interim solution until truly clean energy can be developed. Natural Gas is correct interim fossil fuel to use until that time, not coal of any form or nature.

SJC

All the words in the world will not get rid of even one of the hundreds of coal fired power plants in the U.S. so make them IGCC. Gasify the coal and get the bad stuff out, make the syngas into methane, run gas turbines and then steam turbines. Since you have syngas, make fuels. If you feel like it, sequester some of the CO2 for later use.

ai_vin

On the idea that this bill will create more American jobs: Have you ever noticed that year after year the oil-to-gas companies rake in greater and greater profits but employ fewer and fewer people? And all the while they are getting subsidies from the Republicans on the pretence that they'll create more jobs.

What do you want to bet we'll see the same from the coal-to-gas companies in due course?

ai_vin

I don't think tax hikes are the answer --- we have de-incentivized success and achievement enough in recent years with Obamanomics.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/why_elections_matter_in_one_gr.html
http://www.slate.com/id/2199810/
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_05/006282.php
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2008/1021/p09s01-coop.html

Henry Gibson

The founder of JET BLUE had a very good program for making jet fuel out of coal. If crude oil cost more than $35 then it is profitable to use coal. Perhaps his analysis can be found again somewhere.

If very high temperature steam is available from nuclear power plants then the cost of making fuel from coal is even cheaper. ..HG..

HarveyD

ejj.... there is a real long term problem with the increased transfer of wealth to 5% (or less) of the population. With all that wealth ($92+T and going to $220+T by 2020) it will be very easy to bribe politicians at all levels, avoid paying taxes, get more subsidies and get wealthier faster. Eventually, if nothing is done to spread the wealth around, it will be very much like a monopoly game, one will take it all and the other 99+% will go deeper and deeper in debt and have a much harder time to survive. We will be back to the middle ages with a few lords and kings (now M & B) and many very poor people. Every thing that Americans have stood for may be destroyed.

Warren Buffet may be an exception. Instead of giving B. Gates foundation $25B he could have started a national movement to use about 17% of his accumulated wealth (with all other M & B) to pay off the national debt and force the Congress to pass an anti-debt law and respect it.

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