Coal Tattoo

Manchin keeps pushing Mingo liquid coal plant

Just as he enters the final stretch in his race for the U.S. Senate, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin yesterday resumed promoting the TransGas coal-t0-liquid plant he hopes will locate in Mingo County.

The governor’s office sent out this press release, which was certainly gushing over Gov. Manchin:

After four years of continuous effort, Gov. Joe Manchin and TransGas Development Systems President Adam Victor, along with several state and local representatives, today announced that the company has selected its Engineering Procurement Contractor (EPC) and technology provider for its coal to gasoline facility that will be built in Mingo County, West Virginia.

During today’s meeting, [TransGas president Adam] Victor reminded officials that four years ago, he was on the verge of relocating his operations overseas after facing years of challenges while trying to convince officials across the Northeast to make the tough decision to support necessary energy infrastructure development. Only after Mr. Victor met Governor Manchin did he realize that West Virginia could be a place where energy infrastructure could be built and supported by state and local officials.

But the real news for West Virginians was buried in the release:

Victor praised the governor for bringing the construction trades union together with his chosen contractor and technology provider to ensure that this project will be built by skilled West Virginia workers, on time and under budget.

Coal Tattoo readers will remember that the Affiliate Construction Trades Foundation had been concerned that TransGas might not hire local unionized workers to build the plant, a fear that led the ACT Foundation to take a closer look at the company’s air pollution permit.

That permit has been the subject of appeals hearing this week before the state Air Quality Board, in a challenge filed by the Sierra Club.  And of course, serious concerns remain about the fact that — without carbon capture and storage equipment TransGas is not proposing — liquid coal will generate twice the greenhouse gas emissions of regular gasoline.

Stay tuned …