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smaller target for enemies. The utilization of coal is an inherent buffer against supply disruptions because it is typically stored at power generating facilities. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) regards coal as a proven source of energy security largely due to its unmatched fuel flexibility. Coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology was used by Germany’s armed forces during World War II and commercial production has been ongoing in South Africa since the 1950s. The Office of the Secretary of Defense Initiative and The Defense Energy Support Center illustrate the DOD’s commitment to developing alternative liquid fuels derived from secure domestic resources, such as coal. Currently, the DOD uses nine different petroleum-based fuels for its jet engines, gas turbines, and diesel engine applications and has a goal of developing a single battle space fuel for all branches of the Military. The U.S. Air Force consumes approximately 10 percent of the total jet fuel in the U.S and is acutely aware of the significant advantages of CTL fuels, which can be produced to military specifications. The U.S. Navy is interested in alternative transportation fuels for ships and aircraft. The U.S. Army is testing synthetic fuels in tactical vehicles and generators. The DOD purchases more jet fuel than any other organization in the world and serves as an incentive and catalyst for a commercial CTL industry to produce clean fuels for the Military. In stark contrast to other proposed solutions, CTL conversion utilizes mature technologies and has known costs. Investments in liquid coal will only become more profitable because rising global demand and declining resources ensure oil prices will continuously increase. Indeed, the IEA supports CTL plants because they can “bear the higher cost of CCS and establish a CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that can subsequently be applied to power generation facilities.” RAND Corporation concludes CTL utilization is “feasible at crude oil prices well below the prices seen in 2007 and 2008.” Figure 2 demonstrates the 3 million barrels per day CTL industry proposed by RAND could help supplant risky or now fading sources of U.S. crude oil imports. 2. Economic Security Generating a half of all U.S. electricity, coal is one of our least expensive energy american coal council

CTL: Offsetting U.S. Crude Oil Imports

Figure 2

resources. We have consistently relied upon coal to meet growing demand and moderate energy costs for families and businesses. Coal provides stability in both price and availability. Coal sustains our economy because it is readily affordable, available, and reliable. In fact, coal-fueled electricity

has been the cornerstone of the economic empowerment and rising quality of life generations of Americans have enjoyed since the turn of the last century. Research by Schurr (1984) and Jorgenson (1991, 1994) indicated that falling electricity prices (largely credited to the

Research to advance innovations for energy and the environment • IGCC • Syngas Fuel Cells • Coal-to-Liquids

• Carbon Sequestration • Energy Efficiency

• Selenium Control • TDS Management • Advanced Coal Prep

Learn more at Restored fishery: WVU scientist Brady Gutta enjoys his acid-mine drainage research results.

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Profile for American Coal Council

American Coal Issue 1 2010  

American Coal Issue 1 2010