Hybrid as dirty as a Hummer? December 20, 2007 10:16 AM
Supporters of liquid coal claim it is a cure-all to our nationís energy problems. The truth is that itís plagued with economical and environmental downsides from the time coal is mined until long after the liquid is burned.
Liquid coal releases almost double the global warming emissions per gallon as regular gasoline, making a hybrid filled with liquid coal as dirty as a Hummer H3 running on regular gas.
Liquid coal also requires huge amounts of water, and would lead to an over 40% increase in coal mining just to replace a mere 10% of our nationís transportation fuels. Proponents of liquid coal also want the government to funnel billions in subsidies and tax breaks to artificially create an entirely new industry. Liquid coal is arguably the dirtiest, most expensive energy gamble we could take.
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Of course they'd have to clean the stuff up to make it usable as an auto fuel... otherwise cars would be flunking their auto emissions tests. (hehe)
On the other hand, why replace a dependency on one non-renewable fuel source with a dependency on another non-renewable fuel source? Doesn't make sense to me.
With a little refinement and work, we have the technology to replace the internal combustion engine with something better. I get 90% of my electricity from wind power; Europe has developed solar power to the point where it is useful and profitable; we have had fuel cells for decades - they powered the Gemini spacecraft in the '60s - and those were primitive by today's standards.
We will solve the problems of energy and climate change within a generation, I'm sure. but if we took all the effort and research going into coal and atomic power and put that into developing the infrastructures to support wind, solar and other renewable energies, we could solve the problems in much less time. What a shame that so much effort is being wasted.
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