Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s Big Idea – to build plants to turn coal into liquid fuel, thus reducing dependence on foreign oil while taking advantage of our coal resources before they are made obsolete by cleaner energy sources – is taking a big beating these days.
The concept, the subject of much recent congressional debate, has a couple of main problems. One is that the huge incentives involved are seen by many as a reckless boondoggle for the coal industry. The second is the fear that carbon dioxide pollution from the process may not be controllable either economically or practically.
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