The coal mandate started to shrink — down to 300,000 tons, and eventually to the language currently in use that requires enough to generate the hot water needed by the 50,000 American service members and dependents at Kaiserslautern. That worked out to about 9,000 tons of anthracite last year, according to Hoermann.
Why the program is still in place remains unclear.
When it started a half-century ago, the million-ton annual purchase made the Pentagon the single largest buyer of anthracite in the world. The 9,000 tons left today make up less than 4 percent of the output of the one mine in Tamaqua that supplies the Kaiserslautern coal.
FK – Why are we exporting any energy when gas is a grossly unaffordable $3.50 a gallon?