Researchers meeting at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco said liquefied coal could ultimately have a greater impact on global climate than oil, as it starts to come on line in response to shrinking petrol reserves. “Oil and gas…don’t have enough carbon to keep us in the dangerous zone for very long by themselves, but that’s assuming we do something about coal,” said Pushker Kharecha, a researcher for NASA and Columbia University. Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel, and liquefied coal releases 40% more carbon dioxide than oil when burned.
In 2007, Illinois’ Sen. Barack Obama and Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning introduced legislation that would set the stage for large-scale production of transportation fuels from coal. Bunning and Obama both come from state with large coal reserves. (Reuters, Dec. 19)
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