Baard Energy / Coal

Johnson blames ‘environmental extremists’ for Baard Energy’s failure to build plant

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson

WELLSVILLE — “The Natural Resources Defense Council takes exception to comments by U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, saying its actions against the now defunct Baard Energy coal liquefaction plant (READ STORY) were ‘anything but extremist.’

…Fisk argues the Natural Resources Defense Council opposed the proposed plant because ‘we felt did not comply with environmental laws and did not meet the important public health standards.’ He said the NRDC entered into the agreement to stay challenges against the building permits after Planck removed from the table ‘a truly disastrous idea’ of a coal liquefaction plant, thus reducing climate-changing emissions, about 2,000 tons of other pollutants annually, and avoiding about nine million tons of coal mining per year.

‘I find it disturbing that the thought of enforcing environmental laws that are designed to protect public health and our environment is somehow ‘extremist,’ ‘ Fisk said. “Enforcing our Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act that ensures that we have a healthy and safe environment for our children is a completely reasonable thing to do, and there’s nothing at all extremist about that.’

Taking coal out of the process reduces potential carbon dioxide emissions by 75%, sulfur dioxide pollutants by as little as 15%, some by as much as 90%.

Moreover,Fisk argues further that the project wasn’t economically viable, citing Baard’s difficulty in securing financing the building permits it needed were issued.

‘The company now has acknowledged that they need to move on to a different idea,” he said. ‘I think it is really a sign that coal-to-liquids is not economically viable technology for Ohio or for the country in general.’”

— Jeremy Lydic, Youngstown Business Journal

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