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Representatives Oppose Costly and Dirty Liquid Coal Process

Posted Oct. 29, 2008 / Posted by: admin

For Immediate Release

For more information contact: Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Representatives Voice Opposition to Costly and Dirty Liquid Coal Process

WASHINGTON-- Today, 42 members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressed their opposition to an array of attempts to put government money into the wasteful, inefficient, and expensive process of converting coal into liquid transportation fuels according to energy experts. Led by Congressman Robert Wexler, D-FL, the Representatives sent a letter highlighting the numerous negative aspects of the process to Representative John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, and Sub-Committee Chairman Rick Boucher, both of whom have been working on liquid coal legislation.

Reliance upon coal for liquid fuel would require more mining in places already devastated by destructive coal mining practices according to environmental experts. Already more than 1,200 miles of streams have been permanently buried and 500,000 acres of mountains have been flattened by mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Just to replace 10% of U.S. liquid transportation fuels with liquid coal would require a $70 billion investment.

Below are statements of support for the sign-on letter from Congressman Robert Wexler and various environmental organizations.

Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL)

"Global warming is the greatest environmental challenge of our time, and I strongly believe that Congress must enact policy solutions now that improve US energy security and efficiency. However, it is imperative that the US government not treat liquid coal as one of these solutions. It doubles global warming pollution, costs American taxpayers billions of dollars, wastes massive amounts of water, and exacerbates the impacts of coal mining. Government support for the use of liquid coal as a transportation fuel would only worsen our problems - not strengthen our solutions."

Elizabeth Martin Perrera, Climate Policy Specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council Climate Policy Specialist

"No liquid coal plants have ever been built in the United States. The few attempts made resulted in billions of dollars of wasted government money. Today, we are looking at a price tag of up to $7 billion for one liquid coal plant. Reviving this mistake would harm our environment and public health."

Ben Dunham, Associate Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice

"Creating liquid coal requires a massive increase in coal mining, massive amounts of fresh water, and massive amounts of tax dollars. And what do we get in return? A massive increase in global warming pollution. Plans supporting coal-to-liquids are a shortsighted effort to dig us deeper into the global warming problem we face today."

Alice McKeown, Coal Expert, Sierra Club

"Liquid coal is a dangerous and costly boondoggle. This letter is one more indicator that we need to leave behind the failed policies of the past and turn our attention to the cheaper, safer, smarter alternatives that will fight global warming and jumpstart the clean energy economy."

Erich Pica, Director, Domestic Campaigns, Friends of the Earth

"If we are to solve the global warming crisis, then we must not promote carbon intensive technologies such as liquid coal. Friends of the Earth appreciates the efforts of Rep. Wexler and more 40 other members of Congress who have sent the strong signal that any support of liquid coal is counter to the goal of solving global warming."

Emily Figdor, Global Warming Program Director, U.S. PIRG Federal.

"We commend Congressman Wexler and his colleagues for making it clear that liquid coal should not be a part of our energy future. It would fuel global warming and be a boondoggle for American taxpayers. Instead, we should use energy efficiency and renewable energy, like wind and solar power, to fight global warming and usher in a clean and secure 21st century energy future."

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