Many question liquid coal

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.

Read the entire story here:

Anticipated coal-to-liquids plant hits another setback

A $1.5 billion coal-to-liquids plant pushed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer suffered another setback when a state official struck down an air quality permit that backers of the plant hoped to use for the project.

The ruling by a Department of Environmental Quality hearing examiner, Katherine Orr, means supporters of the Bull Mountain coal-to-liquids plant near Roundup would have to seek a new permit from scratch, said Evan Barrett, Schweitzer’s chief economic development aide.

That marks another in a string of blows for the project since Bull Mountain was announced by Schweitzer last October.

Raed the entire story here: