WV Paper: Coal disappears from America’s future, while area job losses continue

“Coal is not just under attack, it appears to have vaporized from America’s energy future.”

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV) editorializes,

And five and a half years ago, coal-to-liquids (CTL) was becoming a buzzword in the U.S. Seventy-dollar a barrel oil prices made coal-to-liquid technology economically feasible. Plants to make gasoline and diesel from coal were being proposed across the nation.

A typical CTL plant would use about six million tons of coal a year, and produce about 20 thousand barrels of fuel a day. The future certainly looked bright for coal.

Frank Clemente, then a senior professor of Energy Policy at Penn State University, was a key source for the CTL series. “Somebody is going to build a CTL plant in your area, I guarantee it,” he told me. “Coal is coming back. This is like ‘Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.’ ’’

Clemente’s enthusiasm was understandable. There was a potential new use for coal, and we had this rich natural resource in abundance.

“People say we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal,” Clemente said. “Kentucky or West Virginia has 30 billion barrels of coal.”

What a difference a few years and a new president can make…

Read the entire editorial.