It looks like the U.S. Air Force is giving up its liquid dreams to fuel fighter planes with coal.
For the past two years, the Air Force has been the biggest booster of the coal industry's risky scheme to convert its product into a dirty fuel, as an alternative to dwindling oil. But it appears that plans to build a plant at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana to convert coal into liquified aircraft fuel finally crashed and burned.
Currently, there are no other plants in the U.S. equipped to produce liquid coal -- and NRDC aims to keep it that way. You see, not only does the coal industry want U.S. taxpayers to subsidize the cost of their hugely expensive plants, but the process of transforming solid coal into liquid form produces more than twice the global warming pollution as conventional petroleum-based fuel.
To learn more about the folly of liquid coal, check out NRDC's funny cartoon or our award-winning movie Crude Substitute.
That last thing America needs is more dirty fuel, whether it's liquid coal, oil shale from the Rockies or tar sands oil from Canada. So we salute the Air Force for dropping this risky scheme, guised in the name of energy independence. Instead, NRDC believes that by harnessing the energy of the sun and wind, we can refuel our nation and end our addiction to oil.