A plant that will produce commercial quantities of synthetic fuel is under construction in East Dubuque, Ill., USAF’s special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Logistics tells the Daily Report. Paul Bollinger said that Rentech Inc., building that plant and Baard Energy, “looking to build” a plant in Ohio, are among synthetic fuel producers that want DOD to commit to long-term contracts, which they believe would help defray plant construction costs and lower the price of the fuel. Rentech expects to open its Illinois plant in 2010—the date USAF expects to certify all types of aircraft for synfuel (see above)—and produce approximately 20,000 barrels a day. Legislation currently before Congress would make it possible for DOD to enter such contracts. For example, the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Energy Act of 2007, co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), “gives the Air Force up to 25 years of contract authority,” Bollinger said.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”