Well hello there, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin! The last time we checked in with you, you were literally putting a bullet into climate change legislation. And today you're celebrating the opening of a new plant that will turn coal into gasoline, which is pretty much the single worst possible technology we could pursue if we want to preserve a livable climate.
Manchin claims the new plant will use technology that is "cutting edge," which is true if by that he means "cutting-edge about 70 years ago when the Nazis used it to fuel their Kriegsmaschine." Back then, a little vegetarian man with a funny mustache was running out of oil, but he had plenty of coal, so he used it to make synthetic fuel.
In the spirit of that funny little man, Manchin is currently lauding a technology that will more than double the effective greenhouse-gas emissions of cars running on gas created by this plant.
If "coal to liquids" technology goes mainstream in a world in which oil stays expensive, it would pretty much guarantee that we'd end up burning every last joule of coal in the ground. The Germans have a word for that, too: Klimakatastrophe.
Coal to Gas to Hit Markets, EnergyBiz.