Meeting to Determine the Benefits of Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Technology

On Wednesday, September 5, the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing to consider the benefits of coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology and the necessary steps for Congress to take in order to ensure CTL is included as a part of the nation's energy policy.

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) said, "I recognize there may be economic and strategic benefits of advancing coal-to-liquid technologies from both the regional and global perspectives. We need to have a comprehensive strategy to build an energy future that is sustainable."

The Committee heard testimony from industry representatives as well as environmental interest groups. Dr. David Dawkins, Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council Climate Center discussed the water requirements for production of "liquid coal." In his statement, Dr. Dawkins said, "Liquid coal production requires large quantities of water...The withdrawal and consumption of water in areas with water shortages will be a major problem for this industry. Competing water uses, primarily for irrigation, will be a major problem in the West where water rights are established and water is considered a very valuable commodity..."

In response to this statement, Silverado Green Fuel Inc. President Garry Anselmo commented, "This is another example of the advantages of our hydrothermal treatment process. The concerns of Dr. Dawkins and others regarding water usage are rendered moot because our hydrothermal treatment process removes the inherent water from sub-bituminous coal and lignite and then recycles it to the treated coal at the end of the process in creating this liquid fuel. This allows our Green Fuel to require virtually no additional water from external sources."

Committee member, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R- MD) asked the panel members testifying why we needed to liquefy coal rather than burning it straight from the mine. "This is another advantage of our Green Fuel," responded Anselmo. "The energy output of Green Fuel is much greater than the originating coal. Additionally, the need is tremendous for a plentiful and secure domestic source of fuel that can also serve as a feedstock for the Fischer-Tropsch production of synthetic transportation fuels and widely used petrochemicals. The abundance of coal in the United States, of which half meets the requirements for our hydrothermal treatment process, offers a unique opportunity to meet the important energy security needs of our military and domestic economy."

Anselmo concluded, "I am very pleased to see the United States Congress giving greater attention to this very important issue. The hearing held last week in the House Science and Technology Committee demonstrates Congressional commitment to seriously review the entire issue of coal-to-liquids, and our hydrothermal treatment process. While we continue to work with these Members of Congress, we are moving forward on our Mississippi project. Our architectural and engineering firm is working on finalizing the blueprints for the building and we are working our way through the permitting process."

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