Incentives Plan For Coal To Liquid Plant Outlined

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

A plan has been presented that would provide tax incentives for a coal to liquid fuel plant in Kentucky. Some officials say that financial assistance can help bring a plant to Eastern Kentucky.

Pike County officials say coal is the future of energy and the nation is in trouble because of the dependence on oil.

"66 percent of oil was imported, 23 percent of that was refined because we haven't built a refinery in this country since 1989," said Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.

State Senator Robert Stivers has a plan that would provide more than 300 million dollars in tax incentives to a plant that would produce 30,000 barrels of transportation fuel from coal daily.

Stivers told lawmakers that smaller incentives would be offered to smaller plants.

"I've often wondered why we didn't take coal and use it as some by product. I'm sure people that is involved with coal or that live in an area where coal is mined has probably seen what can be done with coal," Rutherford said.

Stivers says developers and the state are discussing at least three coal to liquid projects, including one in Pike County and another near Ashland.

Rutherford says the tax incentives are necessary to build a plant in Eastern Kentucky.

"I think the figures we looked at, those jobs would start at fifty thousand and up," Rutherford said.

Many environmentalists are concerned with emissions from the liquid fuel from coal.

"Our mission is to have zero emissions. You can capture CO2 and carbon and matter of fact you can sell it," Rutherford said.

Rutherford says there are 144 products that break down from coal that can also be sold.

"So the world is running out of energy and we're the energy capital of America and we're going to act like it," Rutherford said.

Governor Fletcher is considering a special session to take up the plan.

More specifics of the incentives plan will be discussed Monday at an energy symposium in Pike County that will start at 8:30 am.

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