A Coal-Lump in the Sky

On the heels of President Obama’s renewed call for clean energy technologies in last night’s Oval Office speech, we’re particularly baffled by this piece in The Examiner detailing how the US Air Force is now testing a coal-based jet fuel.

What?

This fuel is derived from a process perfected by top corporate welfare recipient, ExxonMobil, and is a powerful example of the types of projects in which Big Oil continues to invest the bulk of their time and money – as opposed to jobs and clean energy. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2009 that ExxonMobil was increasing its capital budget by 11 percent, spending $29 billion this year alone on finding, drilling and refining fossil fuels and chemicals.

So, the President says we need to get off fossil fuels, but we’re going to give ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the history of mankind, even more tax money for a coal-lump-in-the sky project. Contrast that with Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson’s 2006 announcement that his companies were developing jet fuels not derived from fossil energy.

As The New York Times reported at the time, “Sir Richard said the prime goal was not making money, but financing research on ways to provide energy in a world of growing populations and economies without overheating the planet.”

Why is Richard Branson four years ahead of the US Air Force that Barrack Obama runs? Why are we trying to power planes with the dirtiest fuel on the planet? As publicly held corporations, we understand Big Oil is in the business of making money by jeopardizing with dirty energy. Why do we get to underwrite it?

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