Q: When is an alternative fuel not a renewable fuel?

A: When it is coal-to-liquids.

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Lost in the call for 35 billion gallons of non-gasoline fuel was the fact that the president has expanded the definition of what fuels qualify for his mandate. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a renewable fuels standard. Tonight the president called for a vastly expanded alternative fuels standard — one that would include “sources such as corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, methanol, butanol, hydrogen, and alternative fuels,” a.k.a. coal-to-liquids.

Trading gasoline for liquid fuels from coal does not bode well for the future state of our union.

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