The Winston-Salem Journal says look at Brian Schweitzer
Look at this editorial:
November 27, 2005For the rest go here.
The Montana Solution
Brian Schweitzer has an idea that could make both tree-hugging liberals and truck-driving conservatives ecstatic. In the process, his plan could greatly enhance national security, reduce the balance of payments deficit and relieve the president of the United States from the embarrassment of having to hold hands with the king of Saudi Arabia.
Schweitzer is the governor of Montana, a state with 120 billion tons of known coal reserves - enough to produce liquid fuel equal to one-quarter of all the Middle East's oil reserves.
You can almost see The New York Daily News headline now - "Bush To Saudis: Drop Dead!"
It's not a pipe dream, although the coal-to-fuel process could fill more than a few pipelines between Montana's eastern grasslands and the nation's gas stations. This is a proven technology, already in use in South Africa. The Chinese are building plants, too.
Schweitzer is trying to build the Montana economy, and it makes sense to build coal conversion plants close to the coal fields. If it happens, it will be an economic bonanza for a poor state with a small population.
Coal-to-fuel conversion has been available for almost a century, but the United States did not embrace it because the oil business has so much clout in Washington, Schweitzer says.
But many of the oil companies now consider themselves energy companies and there is interest in developing just the kind of projects that Schweitzer proposes. He's met with officials from both Shell Oil Co. and a South African firm in hopes that they'll build a conversion plant in Montana.