Baard Energy / Coal

Baard coal refinery: Does the United States need more refinery capacity?

COLUMBUS — At the end of December, 2009, the United States had 833,000 barrels a day of idle refinery capacity. That means the refineries we already have could be processing 833,000 barrels more than they do now. They are idle because U.S. consumption of gasoline and jet fuel is declining. Meanwhile, the Baard Energy company wants taxpayers to subsidize its plan to build a coal refinery in Wellsville, with a capacity of 53,000 more barrels a day. This leads to two new questions for Baard Energy CEO John Baardson:

First, if jet fuel demand begins to increase again, wouldn’t it be cheaper just to use some of the idle existing oil refinery capacity rather than building a whole new coal refinery?

Second, if the premise of the Baard coal refinery is that it can beat the price of existing refineries, how would you know that when – by your own estimates – the construction costs for the refinery are out of control?

Paul Ryder, Organizing Director, Ohio Citizen Action