To the editor:
In the congressional energy bill, coal is promoted as an "alternative" fuel, but it doubles carbon dioxide emissions when compared with other fossil fuels. Not only are massive amounts of carbon dioxide emitted while using coal-based fuel, the process of making liquid fuel from coal creates almost a ton of carbon dioxide for each barrel of fuel produced.
The coal lobby is asking for billions of taxpayer dollars to pay for coal gasification. Thirty years ago we squandered billions of taxpayer dollars on energy companies to pursue "coal gasification." Believing in the commercially propagated myth of "clean coal" can be our undoing.
The world's foremost petroleum geologists agree that once worldwide oil reserve levels reach a "peak of availability," as early as 2010, oil and gas prices will skyrocket. Our country is extremely dependent upon cheap and dirty fossil fuels in virtually all sectors of our economy, including corporate agriculture. The serious consequences for all of us include major threats to food security, to timely development of renewables, plus much more.
Local governments all across the country are beginning to develop major resource conservation programs of all kinds, while reducing their expenditures in the process. This is a vital component of the future of humankind, along with relocalized food production and population reduction.
We need major energy conservation measures as the centerpiece in this legislation - without the use of greenhouse coal.