As several energy bills make their way through Congress, the coal industry is pushing for huge subsidies and mandates to transform millions of tons of coal into transportation fuels. The process to make this "liquid coal" is an expensive, inefficient one that produces large amounts of global warming pollution and precludes it from being a sound option to reduce America's dependence on oil.
Relying on liquid coal as an alternative to oil could nearly double global warming pollution per gallon of transportation fuel. For example, using liquid coal fuel in a Honda Civic would produce the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as operating a Hummer H3 on conventional gasoline. Moreover, large-scale use of liquid coal would increase coal mining's devastating effects on communities and ecosystems stretching from Appalachia to the Rocky Mountains, including polluted air and water, ravaged landscapes and a dismal record of worker safety.
Although we can produce cleaner and less expensive alternatives to oil, Congress is nevertheless poised to lavish huge taxpayer subsidies to help get a polluting liquid coal industry off the ground instead of investing that money in options that would put us on a path to a cleaner, more secure energy future.
What to do:
Send a message urging your senators and representative to oppose any legislation that promotes liquid coal fuels.