The Mesaba Energy Project Will Use an Abundant Domestic Fuel Source
Energy Project's primary fuel source is domestic coal, America's most abundant fuel.
- Coal is our Nation's most abundant domestic energy resource
- One quarter of the entire world's known coal supplies are found within the
- The U.S. has coal reserves of 267,312 million short tons
- The U.S. has more than 240 years of technically recoverable coal reserves
- These coal reserves will last more than 160 years longer than the technically
recoverable reserves of domestic oil and domestic natural gas
- Our nation's recoverable coal has the energy equivalent of about one trillion
barrels of crude oil—comparable in energy content to all the world's known oil reserves
The disparity between the longevity and volume of domestic supplies of coal compared
to oil and gas is even more pronounced when proven, rather than technically recoverable,
reserves are measured.
The Federal government has recognized the numerous benefits attending the use
of abundant, domestic coal to meet our national energy needs.
- Economic security through low electricity prices
- Reduced balance of trade deficit
- Job creation
- Improved energy security
According to former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, "[c]lean-coal technology
will be the key to continuing coal's invaluable contribution to meeting the nation's
energy, economic and environmental goals."
In recent years, the critical role of IGCC in ensuring energy security and providing
the optimal path towards energy independence has taken the forefront position in energy
and environmental policy.
By generating electricity from coal, IGCC can reduce the use of natural
gas in the electricity sector. This reduction would free limited natural gas
supplies for use in manufacturing and home heating, and allow for
substitution of natural gas for imported oil. In addition, the
capability to make transportation fuels, pipeline quality gas and hydrogen
from coal offers the promise of reducing Minnesota’s reliance on products
priced with reference to record high oil and gas prices. While the
Mesaba Project cannot change global economics, it will allow Minnesota to
help move a bad situation in the right direction.
In addition to avoiding dependence on foreign supplies of oil and natural gas,
reliance on coal for power generation provides additional supply security due to
coal's broad geographic dispersion across the U.S. Supply of coal is therefore not
susceptible to material disruptions in supplies at a single, concentrated source.
Geographic Distribution of United States Coal Deposits
By helping to reduce the need for imported natural gas and petroleum through
the use of domestically abundant coal, IGCC facilities such as the Mesaba Energy
Project are critical to energy security for Minnesota and to national security.