Muhlenberg County a First for Coal-to-Diesel Production

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

It's a first for not only Kentucky, but the entire United States.

Muhlenberg County has been selected to be a location for the first coal-to-diesel production plant in the country.

The plant will not only produce a greener type of energy, but hundreds of jobs too.

State leaders and Muhlenberg County officials have been working with Fuel Frontiers, Inc. for more than two years in an effort to bring the plant to Nelson Creek.

And Tuesday, more than 300 people came out to celebrate the groundbreaking for just that.

"We're really fortunate to have them choose Muhlenberg County," said Jon Rogers, a resident of Muhlenberg County.

Jon Rogers started work in the coal-mining industry some 15 years ago, and now he's witnessing its future take shape.

"We in Muhlenberg County desperately need this and it looks like it's gaining speed now," he said.

Fuel Frontiers, Inc. is planning to build a $400-million facility, which will turn coal into an ultra-clean diesel fuel.

It's a product Frontiers officials say won't pollute the environment and will reduce emissions in trucks.

"This is just the first step of many steps that need to be done nationally to significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil," explained David Maland, president of Fuel Frontiers, Inc.

The project has garnered support from State Representative Brent Yonts since 2007, who has pushed for the clean-coal plant to locate in his home county.

"This plant could've very easily have gone to Montana or some other state, but because of Brent Yonts' relationship with these folks they stayed here," Rogers said.

It's a plan coal-to-diesel leaders say will create jobs and produce "green" energy, and will bring a much needed economic boost to Muhlenberg County.

"It's real simple. The coal comes from here and we use the fuel here, so the dollars stay at home," Maland said.

"Every county in Kentucky needs the type of technology these folks are representing and the revenue that follows it," Rogers said.

Construction of the plant is expected to start next year with clean-diesel production slated for 2011.

It's worth mentioning President Obama was even invited to the ceremony by Rep. Yonts, but according to a letter from the president's Office of Appointments and Scheduling, due to his schedule he had to decline.


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