Entry for June 08, 2007

Chart from ” Comparing Life Cycle GHG Emissions from Coal-to-Liquids and Plug-in Hybrids” Sorry the print is so small. If you click on the magnifying glass, you should be able to read it. The gist is coal to liquid produces way more CO2.

To access the paper log in using the Username: ceicpaper and the password: EnergyResearch. Paulina Jaramillo and Constantine Samaras in their working paper issued June 4 by Carnegie Mellon University’s Electric Industry Center, concluded

For energy security and greenhouse gas reductions, plugin hybrids a more sensible pathway than coal-to-liquids gasoline.

For more information, contact Lester B. Lave (email) and Jay Apt (email) at Carnegie Mellon.

My friend Aldon Hynes introduced me via an email to Clem Guttata of the blog West Virginia Blue, whose primary concerns are stopping coal-to-liquid fuels and MTR. For those of you who may not me aware, there are several pieces of legislation before Congress promoting these fuels:

  • Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Energy Act of 2007 (S. 154)
  • Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 (S. 155)
  • Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 (H.R. 370)

Clem sent me a link to his post today, Liquid Coal Backlash in Coal Mining Region, which includes mention of the Roanoke Times June 5 editorial, Billion-dollar boondoggle: Coal-to-liquid technology is expensive, harmful to the environment and inefficient. The federal government should take no part in subsidizing it.

Of interest to those of us opposing MTR was the May 24 hearing of Rick Boucher’s Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Discussion Drafts concerning Energy Efficiency, Smart Electricity Grid, Energy Policy Act of 2005 Title XVII Loan Guarantees, and Standby Loans for Coal-to-Liquids Projects, one of a series of hearings which can be found here. The discussion drafts can be found here.

The witness representing the environmental movement was Dr. Daniel Lashof, Science Director, Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council (email), who testified that

  • NRDC opposes the coal-to-liquid provisions of the May 17th discussion draft. Making liquid fuels from coal increases, rather than decreases, global warming pollution and is fundamentally incompatible with achieving the deep emission reductions that are needed to prevent dangerous global warming.
  • A ton of coal used in a power plant employing carbon capture and storage (CCS) to generate electricity for a plug in hybrid vehicle will displace more than twice as much oil as using the same coal to make liquid fuels in a plant that uses CCS.
  • A hybrid vehicle running on liquid coal will emit 10 times as much CO2 per mile as a plug-in hybrid vehicle running on electricity made from coal, assuming that both the power plant and coal-to-liquids plant fully employ CCS.
  • Congress should cap total greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels and require improvements in vehicle performance as well as progressive reductions in the average greenhouse gas emissions per gallon of transportation fuels sold, as California is planning to do.

His findings were seconded by the Carnegie Mellon paper I led off with in this entry.

*

Last night Barry and I went to see The Namesake (imdb site) at the Lyric Theatre, based on the book of the same title by Jhumpa Lahiri which we read for our group in Roanoke. We also read her book of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

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