No One Energy Source:

The Air Force is working with the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to explore refining coal to liquid fuel and other potential synthetic fuel sources. Paul Bollinger, special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Logistics, told the Daily Report Thursday that the service is interested in a mix of fuels, consisting of 20 to 30 percent biomass and 60 to 80 percent coal. “Our emphasis in the Air Force is that there is no ‘silver bullet’ or one energy source that we should be relying on,” he said. (USAF has successfully tested a coal-derived fuel on a B-52.) The Unconventional Fuels Task Force, comprising DOD, DOE, the Interior Department, and five state governors, is working on a series of reports outlining the potential for commercializing such unconventional fuels and any potential environmental impacts—good or bad. According to Bollinger, an alternative fuel derived from biomass being considered by USAF reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 20 to 30 percent. Oil shale and tar sands are also potential sources. Shell Oil Company is supposed to make a decision about deriving fuel from oil shale by 2010. Tar sands aplenty exist on federally owned land, so DOI and the Bureau of Labor Management would have to take action.