Coal Tattoo

Coal as alternative fuel?


I’ve been reading through Gov. Joe Manchin’s energy bill again,  and wanted to make it clear to everyone exactly how the legislation gets to the point of coal being considered an “alternative” fuel.

The bill (draft is posted here)  defines “alternative energy resources” as

any of the following resources, methods or technologies for the production or generation of electricity:

(1) advanced coal technology;

(2) coal-bed methane;

(3) fuel produced by a coal gasification or liquefaction facility; [WARNING NOTE: This is the big loophole for coal-to-liquids technology that produces twice as much greenhouse gases as traditional petroleum fuels…I’ll blog more about this later]

(4) synthetic gas;

(5) integrated gasification combined cycle technologies;

(6) waste coal;

(7) tire-derived fuel;

(8) pumped storage hydro-electrical projects; or

(9) any other resource, method or technology certified as an alternative energy resource by the Public Service Commission.

Then, the governor’s bill defines “advanced coal technology” ( number 1 on the list above) this way:

 A technology that is used in a new or existing energy generating facility to reduce airborne carbon emissions associated with the combustion or use of coal and includes, without limitation, carbon dioxide capture and storage technolog, ultra-supercritical technology and pressurized fluidized bed technology.

I’m going to be blogging some more about this later, and probably filing a print story at some point with some more analysis by energy experts I’m talking to today and tomorrow.

But the question I have at this point is, exactly what doesn’t qualify as “alternative” under Manchin’s legislation?