Massive support for Ohio CTL project

Baard Energy, a leading alternative energy development company headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, says that 16 major American trade unions in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia have called on their state and federal legislators to support the construction of Baard’s planned coal/biomass-to-liquid (CBTL) fuel plant in Wellsville, Ohio. Baard’s Ohio River Clean Fuels CBTL plant will produce over 53,000 barrels/d of ultra-clean liquid transportation fuel using abundant coal and biomass resources. The plant will help significantly strengthen US energy security by reducing our growing dependence on increasingly expensive imported oil and also help achieve critically important environmental improvement goals.

During construction, the project will require 4,000 skilled workers and once completed the plant will employ over 400 people. “Our members can build this CBTL production facility which will produce more than 50,000 barrels of clean transportation fuel each day for far less than $125 per barrel,” the labour leaders wrote. “The hurdle we face is that there has never been a commercial-scale CBTL production facility because of the fear of the potential manipulation of oil prices by foreign oil cartels.”

The letter calls on the state and congressional delegations of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to take a series of steps to support the construction of plants built by skilled American labour that will use the nation’s unrivaled coal reserves to produce a new domestic source of affordable and clean fuels.

A previous study by the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Lab (INL) demonstrated that CBTL fuels will emit 46% less carbon dioxide and produce dramatically reduced emissions of regulated pollutants when compared to low-sulphur diesel fuel. More than 85% of the carbon dioxide produced at the plant will be captured and used for enhanced oil recovery operations in the Clinton fields in eastern Ohio located near the plant.

According to the INL study, Baard’s virtually sulphur-free CBTL fuel will reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide by more than 80% and cut nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 20%. In addition, INL found that Baard’s CBTL fuel will reduce particulate matter emissions by nearly 20%, slash emissions of volatile organic compounds by close to 20%, and also reduce emissions of carbon monoxide.

“Our country is repeatedly hammered by the continued escalating cost for crude oil,” said Baard President and CEO John Baardson. “We must begin to concentrate on robust production of domestic fuels that address the needs of our truck drivers, our commercial airlines and our Armed Forces and work to break the stranglehold foreign oil interests have on our way of life. Not only can we clean the air, but Baard’s CBTL fuel can put America on a path towards real energy independence by significantly reducing our use of imported oil and providing urgently needed price relief for American consumers and industry, all while creating thousands of new, high-paying jobs in Ohio,” said Baardson.

Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) praised the plant, which will be constructed in his district, as being capable of not only driving new job creation in southeastern Ohio but helping put America on a path towards energy independence. “Given the energy challenges our country is currently battling, a facility in my district that can produce over 50,000 barrels a day of clean transportation fuel is a huge step in the right direction,” said Wilson. “I’d much rather use fuel produced in my district than be reliant on foreign oil.

“In addition, this plant will provide us with several thousand construction jobs, nearly a thousand new mining jobs and about 400 new jobs at the plant. All will be jobs with good wages that can support a family. This is a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned. I’m hopeful this plant is a prototype that will be duplicated so that we can create even more jobs in the district, as we transform the Ohio River Valley into an energy corridor that will serve America’s power needs.”

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) highlighted the ability of the plant to help ease the burden of record energy prices American consumers and businesses are currently struggling with. “People in the 17th District and elsewhere desperately need relief and with gas at $4 a gallon, we need to be exploring every possible way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Ryan. “The Baard CBTL plant is one step toward that goal.”

“Furthermore, when the plant is completed this business will have a major economic impact on Northeast Ohio for many years. Construction of the facility alone will result in several thousand good paying jobs over the four years it will take to complete. After the first full year of operations, the plant will generate an estimated $31 million in income for our region,” said Ryan.