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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Next Energy Boondoggle

Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process

WASHINGTON, May 28 — Even as Congressional leaders draft legislation to reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming, a powerful roster of Democrats and Republicans is pushing to subsidize coal as the king of alternative fuels.

Prodded by intense lobbying from the coal industry, lawmakers from coal states are proposing that taxpayers guarantee billions of dollars in construction loans for coal-to-liquid production plants, guarantee minimum prices for the new fuel, and guarantee big government purchases for the next 25 years.

With both House and Senate Democrats hoping to pass “energy independence” bills by mid-July, coal supporters argue that coal-based fuels are more American than gasoline and potentially greener than ethanol.

You know I’m no fan of coal. But if the Good-Time Charlies in Washington are going to start throwing money at coal, we might want to take positions to ride that rising tide.

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