August 15, 2007
PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY
NATIONAL COAL TO LIQUIDS CONFERENCE PROTEST; Citizens oppose expensive, polluting plants, mountaintop removal mining
Contacts: Vernon Haltom 304-928-0208 (on-site), 304-854-2182 (office);
Bill Price 304-389-8822
Daniels, W.Va.—Citizens today are protesting the national coal to liquids conference being held at Glade Springs Resort near Daniels, W.Va. US Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and other legislators have proposed billions in tax incentives, subsidies, and guaranteed markets, including the US Air Force, for factories that would convert coal to liquid fuels such as diesel and jet fuel. Demonstrators include members of Coal River Mountain Watch, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Sierra Club, and Mountain Justice Summer. The protest is taking place from 11:30 to 1:00.
The coal industry promotes coal to liquids (CTL) as a clean source of domestically available fuel that would eliminate dependence on foreign oil, but at full production the process would only replace 10% of US oil consumption. Some estimates say that coal production would have to double to meet the demand.
“It's a dirty and dangerous lie to say coal to liquid is good for homeland security,” said Vivian Stockman of OVEC. “The opposite is true. Coal to liquid refineries would use billions in taxpayer subsidies to double greenhouse gases compared to oil, guzzle down vast quantities of water and pollute the local area.”
“Rahall’s policies would increase mountaintop removal,” said Judy Bonds of CRMW. “Why didn’t they play their golf game on a mountaintop removal site?” Tuesday, protesters flew two aerial banners over the conference golf game, one reading “Liquid coal fuels destruction!” and the other reading “Solid or liquid coal is filthy!”
“Instead of relying on coal to liquid for economic development, Congressman Rahall should be looking at clean jobs that would be provided by renewable energy development,” said Bill Price of the Sierra Club. “Why isn’t he pursuing a manufacturing facility for solar panels or wind turbines in this area?”
“Nick Rahall says that coal-to-liquids will remove more toxins and heavy metals from the coal before it is shipped for use, but where does the poison go?” said Bo Webb of CRMW. “Does it magically disappear or will it go into even more sludge dams and leak into our groundwater and released into our rivers? Where does it go?”
In June, protesters demonstrated in Kentucky to support renewable energy and oppose CTL plans there. On Monday, five demonstrators were arrested in Asheville, NC, while protesting Bank of America’s funding of coal projects.