On CNN this morning, senior business correspondent Ali Velshi discussed the new record high oil prices reached today. American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry asked Velshi about ways to conserve, such as hybrids. His response:
I just spoke to the CEO of Sasol, the old South African oil company. They make gasoline out of coal. If oil is not $50 or higher, it doesn’t make it worth doing that. But at 112 bucks, 113 bucks, why not?
Why not convert coal into gasoline using coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology? After all, the United States does have abundant coal reserves, and CTL is a well-established technology, having been developed by scientists in Nazi Germany:
Liquid coal increases our addiction to fossil fuels. The way to break an addiction to fossil fuels is to figure out how to use less, not consume more. To replace ten percent of our oil consumption would require an increase in coal mining by 40%.
Liquid coal is a climate killer. The energy required to convert coal to liquid fuel doubles the amount of carbon dioxide released compared to petroleum-based gasoline, producing a “ton of carbon dioxide for each barrel of liquid fuel.”
I hope CNN’s Velshi is promoting coal-to-liquid technology unwittingly, and not because his network has been receiving millions of dollars from the coal industry to run their debates — debates where questions about global warming are rarely if ever asked.
CHETRY: And aren’t we seeing more viable options for trying to conserve, I mean..
VELSHI: Yeah, sure, when it’s this…
CHETRY: Hybrids are becoming more commonplace, I mean…
VELSHI: I just spoke to the CEO of Sasol, the old South African oil company. They make gasoline out of coal. If oil is not $50 or higher, it doesn’t make it worth doing that. But at 112 bucks, 113 bucks, why not?