KTUU (NBC): Coal-to-liquid plant at Eielson still under consideration

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A top Air Force official told Sen. Lisa Murkowski Thursday that a coal-to-liquid plant at Eielson Air Force Base is still under consideration.

Murkowski questioned Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Terry Yonkers, about the issue at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations- Military Construction Subcommittee.

Yonkers said the Air Force is conducting feasibility and financial viability studies and also conducting a business case analysis to see if an enhanced base-use lease may be appropriate and financially viable.

"Once we get the information from those reports back and we can massage that a bit, and if we do in fact find that it's a viable alternative, our intent is to get with the Department of Defense, along with, we hope, some prospective developers," Yonkers said.

"Obviously the cost of energy is a key issue up there, but even more so the opportunity to provide the Air Force with fuel source that could be ready and affordable is something that we all want to focus on," Murkowski said.

The Air Force received $10 million in fiscal year 2009 to support efforts in contracting for a coal to liquids plant at Eielson Air Force Base.

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Source: By Channel 2 News Staff. Originally published April 23, 2010