Tennessee Sen. Corker says coal-based fuel could cut Air Force costs

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. (AP) -- Sen. Bob Corker said a new synthetic fuel being tested by the Air Force could reduce the military's massive energy costs.

Corker met with officials on Monday at the base near Manchester to learn more about the coal-based fuel being evaluated at the Arnold Engineering Development Center.

Corker said the Air Force today spends about $3 billion a year on fuel and next year that number is projected to increase to $4 billion.

Col. Art Huber, commander of the base, said the synthetic fuel has been undergoing testing in rocket and turbine test engines in the base's wind tunnels for about a year.

Huber said the Air Force is looking at mixing the new fuel with the oil-based fuel it currently uses.

Corker also said he plans to meet with the new head of the Air Force to secure construction funding for the base.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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