Converting coal to a liquid fuel like diesel is a bad idea for the climate, as previously noted. The good news is that the new Congress will be far more skeptical of the idea than the old one.
“Democrats’ Climate Test Could Hamper DOD Push For Alternative Fuels,” is how Energy Washington (subs. req’d) put it:
The Defense Department’s push to find alternative fuel sources could face a tough hurdle if the new Democratic leadership in Congress closely scrutinizes the climate impacts of controversial technologies, such as coal-based Fischer-Tropsch refining, that DOD is considering, observers say.
The article goes on to explain: