The Return Of Nazi Oil

by Frank O'Donnell
President of Clean Air Watch
Article from Tom Paine
Once upon a time, Hitler’s Nazis found themselves in a jam: how to fight a world war with meager oil reserves— especially after the debacle of the Russian Front and the loss of those former Soviet oil fields? The answer was to convert German coal into liquid fuel for the Luftwaffe and those Panzer tanks. (No, this plot line is not courtesy of Mel Brooks. In fact, General George Patton siphoned off some of this fuel from captured German vehicles and used it to race towards Germany in 1944.)

This expensive coal-to-liquid process was later used by South Africa to meet its energy needs during its isolation under apartheid.

And now what some people refer to as “Nazi fuel” is back—thanks in part to high oil prices and lobbying by groups that stand to profit its use in the United States. Former Republican congressman Bob Livingston was paid more than $200,000 last year to lobby for federal loan guarantees for the North American branch of the South Africa-based Sasol corporation, which is trying to peddle this process.

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