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.
“For so many, filthy coal is a dirty four-letter word,” said Representative Nick
V. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources
Committee. “These individuals, I tell you, have ...