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Senator Santorum in Schuylkill County to Discuss Nation's First Coal-to-Liquid Plant with Department of Defense Official and Local Officials

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Location: Frackville, PA


Senator Santorum in Schuylkill County to Discuss Nation's First Coal-to-Liquid Plant with Department of Defense Official and Local Officials

Senator Santorum will also be in Berks County to meet with local officials regarding community development funding.

August 24, 2006

Frackville, PA - U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today was at the future site for the nation's first coal-to-liquid facility which will be located in Schuylkill County and is a part of Waste Management and Processors, Inc. (WMPI); the Senator has a long history of championing coal-to-liquid fuel technology. Senator Santorum successfully fought to secure $100 million for the facility, which is expected to create 1,600 jobs and produce zero-sulfur emission diesel fuel from waste coal.

In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Senator Santorum was instrumental in seeing that part of the bill provided $200 million each year for clean coal technology research. He also secured language in the bill that would allow a portion of funds already appropriated to the Department of Energy and awarded to WMPI through a Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) competitive grant, to be used to fund a federal loan guarantee for the coal-to-liquid project.

"One of the greatest benefits to our nation from this technology is to break free from our dangerous and costly dependence on foreign energy sources. Countries like Iran are using our money and reliance on their oil as leverage in waging their war of Islamic Facism on us and other democratic countries," said Senator Santorum. "Furthermore, this is a great opportunity for our state which has a rich coal heritage and continues to play an instrumental role in supplying our nation with its greatest source of domestic fuel, and I am excited that Pennsylvania will be able to showcase its many resources and innovations through programs such as the Clean Coal Power Initiative."

Dr. Theodore K. Barna, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense joined Senator Santorum today to talk about defense uses for the plant and coal-to-liquid fuel technology in addition to commercial uses.

Senator Santorum was also in Berks County today in Muhlenberg Township to discuss brownfield revitalization projects in the community as well as $200,000 for an economic development initiatives grant for Muhlenberg Township included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development (TTHUD) Appropriations bill.

"I have toured many brownfield sites across our state and I understand the great cost associated with their clean-up and redevelopment. I have worked hard to bring funding like that in the TTHUD bill to Pennsylvania communities because it is instrumental in helping communities move forward with new community revitalization efforts and future economic development," said Senator Santorum.

Brownfields are once-functional industrial commercial sites that are now abandoned, inactive or under-used, and have been affected by environmental contamination. The process of cleaning up these sites to make them viable again is costly and time consuming. While the price tag varies with each site, it is not uncommon for the cleanup of a major site to cost between $500,000 and $1 million due to of environmental pollutants.
In February 2005 Senator Santorum reintroduced legislation with Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) that would allow the expensing of brownfields cleanup costs to be a permanent fixture of the Tax Code.

The Santorum-Bayh legislation would extend tax provisions to offset the costs of rehabilitating these sites and would make the incentives permanent. Since a large percentage of brownfields across the country are contaminated with petroleum, the bill would also broaden the qualifying definition of "hazardous substances," which would enable petroleum-contaminated sites to be eligible for the tax incentives as well. Provisions from Senator Santorum's legislation were included in the "Trifecta" legislation (H.R. 5970) that was filibustered earlier this month.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1983&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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