Officials say a coal to liquid fuel plant is one step closer to being built in Pike County.
Congressman Hal Rogers and other officials visited Pikeville, heard the plans, and toured the possible site for a coal to liquid fuel plant.
Congressman Rogers says he likes what he saw and what he heard.
He believes the project needs to move forward to help cut gas prices, and create jobs in eastern Kentucky, and he said he thinks the Pike County site is the best place to start.
Pike County officials and Engineers want to turn these 225 acres at Big Shoal into a coal to liquid fuel plant.
Congressman Hal Rogers and dozens of other officials toured the site and learned how the plant will come to life.
Engineers say once the plant is built, it can turn 120 billion tons of coal into liquid fuel.
“I'm for anything that will reduce these gas prices,” Representative Hal Rogers said.
Rogers says he wants Kentucky to lead the way to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. He believes building the coal to liquid fuel plant in Pike County is the first step.
“We're ready to help solve this country's critical transportation fuel problem,” Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said.
The preliminary study just completed says Big Shoal is the best spot to build the plant because it is near water, railroads, the airport, and the highway.
The potential plant has a four billion dollar price tag, but Rogers believes it will be money well spent.
“Well, if it brings down the price of gasoline for Americans, and if it produces jobs in eastern Kentucky and helps us gain independence from Arab emirates over there, then it's worth it, and I think it would do that,” Rogers said.
Even though Rogers supports the idea, he says private investors will have to pay for it, but he plans to do what he can in Washington to help and he believes it will change Eastern Kentucky.
Judge-Executive Rutherford says they are talking to some investors to build the plant.
Rogers says the government can help build roads and other infrastructure to the site.