NRDC Challenges Coal-to-Diesel Project | Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 2, 2023
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NRDC Challenges Coal-to-Diesel Project

MANHATTAN (CN) - The Natural Resources Defense Council says Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is withholding information on a proposed $6 billion, massively polluting coal-to-diesel facility in Ohio. The project will consume 9.3 million tons of coal and emit 26 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the federal complaint.

In its FOIA complaint, the NRDC says Baard Energy's "Ohio River Clean Fuels" project will use new technology to transform coal to diesel fuel. The process uses electricity and naphtha, a highly volatile substance, the NRDC says.

The Department of Defense would buy the diesel fuel, which Baard describes as "alternative" fuel.

The NRDC says the Air Force base and the Department of the Air Force are holding back critical documents from a FOIA request the group submitted in October last year.

After submitting a request for all communications between Baard, the DOD and the Ohio air authority regarding theproposal and its evaluation, the group received a "no records" response.

The NRDC claims this is not possible, since records produced by the Columbiana Port Authority indicate that communications between Baard and the base occurred. It cites emails in which officials from both parties referred to each other on a first-name basis.

This, along with other details, "strongly suggests the existence of additional prior communications," the NRDC wrote to the Air Force.

Represented by Thomas Cmar in Chicago, NRDC seeks declaratory relief and wants to see the records.

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