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 Post subject: Pa. Coal Conversion Plant
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:43 am 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Entrepreneur wants to build $1 billion coal conversion plant
By Kent Jackson (Staff Writer)Published: January 11, 2011

Jack Rich said he can make diesel fuel from coal at less than $3 a gallon, but the whims of an international cartel keep him out of business.

"We compete in a global economy, but OPEC fixes prices," Rich said Monday after meeting with three lawmakers at the Top of the 80s in Sugarloaf Township.

Variability of prices set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries discouraged banks from investing in the coal-to-diesel plant that Rich has touted for a decade.

In the $1 billion plant that Rich wants to build on Morea Road near Gilberton, he could lock in a price of $3 a gallon for sulfur-free diesel fuel for 10 years. That's below the current prices at the pump in the Hazleton area and last week's national averages of $3.07 a gallon for gasoline and $3.33 for diesel.

Banks have been reluctant to invest, said Rich, who doesn't seek government money for his project, because after the plant opens OPEC could reduce prices.

Price stability isn't the only reason Rich gave lawmakers and the public for supporting his plant.

America spends approximately $1 billion a day to import oil.

His plant and others like it could keep some of that money in the country by each generating 5,000 barrels a day or more of diesel and naptha, a fuel that can be used by refineries.

Also, the Gilberton plant would be able to convert natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania into diesel fuel.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, said America would always need some liquid fuels even if alternative sources for generating electricity grow. Plus producing liquid fuels can bring jobs to Pennsylvania, particularly as development surges in the Marcellus Shale fields, Barletta said.

"How many wars are being fought for coal?" Rich said when lobbying for his plant, which could create 1,000 construction jobs and 660 jobs for operators and supporting workers.

Newly elected state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Nanticoke, said he backed Rich's plan when he served in the state House of Representatives and sat on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Yudichak said he had to argue with colleagues from outside the coal region who had never ived by culm banks or the streams that they polluted.

kjackson@standardspeaker.com

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:41 pm
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
if they don't build that plant im going to be disgusted. screw OPEC.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:04 pm
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Location: WILKES-BARRE PA
well there still building that plant down in good springs

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