Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Can Break Our Oil Addiction

I agree with President Bush: America is addicted to oil and we need an intervention. Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has put us at the mercy of dictators and despots from South America to the Middle East.  Our energy market is held hostage to price spikes governed by a cartel of nations whose national policies are adversarial to American interests.

Add to this equation the threat of political instability in oil producing nations, the threat of a nuclear armed Iran and competition in the race for resources by emerging economies like China and India, and America faces a stark choice.  Either we remain dependent on our enemies and competing nations for our energy, or we harness our tremendous natural resources to create an energy economy driven by domestic energy.

For me, the choice could not be clearer.  Congress must make a commitment to fulfilling President Bush's proposal to reduce our gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.  To do this, we must embrace the resources that will create an alternative to gasoline. Ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen production have been heavily advertised as possible solutions to our energy problems.  However, as good as these are, they alone will not make us self-sufficient for our energy needs.

We cannot afford to ignore the promise of coal to drive our economy into the 21st Century.  Western Pennsylvania is like other areas along the East Coast in that it sits upon tremendous coal reserves.  Advancements in clean coal technology have unlocked the potential of coal gasification to be used to produce alternative fuels that will allow us to break our addiction to oil.

That is why I have cosponsored H.R.370, the “Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007.