8/26/2005

Daily Kos: Schweitzer's plan for US energy independence

Schweitzer's plan for US energy independence
by kos
Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 15:01:12 CDT

This was the talk of the state when we visited Montana a few weeks ago. Schweitzer is positively obsessed with the potential:

Montana's governor wants to solve America's rising energy costs using a technology discovered in Germany 80 years ago that converts coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel.

But with U.S. crude oil now hitting more than double that price, Gov. Brian Schweitzer's plan is getting more attention across the country and some analysts are taking him very seriously.

Montana is "sitting on more energy than they have in the Middle East," Schweitzer told Reuters in an interview this week.

The fuel that comes out of the Fischer-Tropsch method (also used by South Africa during their embargo years) burns cleaner than current fuels, stripping out sulfur, arsenic, and other nasty byproducts. And if Montana alone can deliver 40 years worth of the nation's energy needs, imagine how much more we'd have when you throw Wyoming, Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia coal into the mix. More than enough fuel to get us inexpensively into the hydrogen economy.

The geopolitical ramifications are also huge -- no need for wars in the Middle East or saber-rattling in Venezuela. The impetus for foolish wars would wane. And cheaper gas (I don't buy $1/gallon, but even twice that would be a boon) would provide huge benefits to the economy.

Not a modest vision for a small state governor.

Compare to Republican governors getting indicted and convicted and investigated all around the country.

Daily Kos: Schweitzer's plan for US energy independence

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