Energy Security, Literally

By March 24, 2008Energy

The Associated Press, “Air Force Prod Aids Coal-To-Fuel Plans”:

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AP) – On a wind-swept air base near the Missouri River, the Air Force has launched an ambitious plan to wean itself from foreign oil by turning to a new and unlikely source: coal.

The Air Force wants to build at its Malmstrom base in central Montana the first piece of what it hopes will be a nationwide network of facilities that would convert domestic coal into cleaner-burning synthetic fuel.

Air Force officials said the plants could help neutralize a national security threat by tapping into the country’s abundant coal reserves. And by offering itself as a partner in the Malmstrom plant, the Air Force hopes to prod Wall Street investors – nervous over coal’s role in climate change – to sink money into similar plants nationwide.

Certainly there’s progress. Last week a B-1B Lancer stationed at Dyess Air Force Base became the first U.S. Air Force plane to reach supersonic speed using an alternate fuel, flying over Texas and New Mexico.

Meanwhile,authorities in Fairbanks, Alaska, are promoting the idea of coal liquefication plant. Alaska does produce coal, albeit not much.

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