The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

King Coal

KING COAL....Hey, if it was good enough for Hitler, it's good enough for us!
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.

....Among the proposed inducements winding through House and Senate committees: loan guarantees for six to 10 major coal-to-liquid plants, each likely to cost at least $3 billion; a tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of coal-based fuel sold through 2020; automatic subsidies if oil prices drop below $40 a barrel; and permission for the Air Force to sign 25-year contracts for almost a billion gallons a year of coal-based jet fuel.
OK, the Hitler crack was unfair. I hereby award myself a Godwin's Law penalty.

But seriously, folks: on the list of energy technologies to subsidise, coal-to-liquid doesn't even make the top hundred. Even with carbon sequestration — which is untested, hated by the coal industry, and mostly used as pie-in-the-sky hokum to sucker the yokels — its carbon footprint is as high as gasoline. And without it, it's one of the most carbon intensive technologies known to man.

Besides, what about that federal carbon tax that both liberals and conservatives are starting to coalesce around as the best policy response to global warming? What are we going to do? Grant billions of dollars of subsidies to CL technology and then drive them all out of business with a carbon tax? That's some great policymaking there.

Jeebus. Are the electoral votes in Montana and West Virginia that important? What am I missing here?