This article in the Guardian lays out why the recent push on the part of the coal lobby for government coal-to-liquid subsidies is such a crock. Some basic math indicates that even if the only concern were so-called “energy independence,” it still wouldn’t make much sense. And although the industry is simultaneously asking taxpayers to fund research into carbon sequestration, a technology of dubious practicality, vehicles using coal-derived liquid fuel (far dirtier than gasoline) are not going to be sequestering carbon any time soon. The carbon sequestered at power plants would be made up for in vehicle emissions. Not to mention that the process of coal mining destroys mountains, forests, and many peoples’ lives.
Here’s an idea: instead of keeping a filthy, destructive industry around as a government-subsidized zombie, why not invest in efficiency and renewable energy sources?