I am really not happy about Governor Schweitzer being such a proponent of Montana pursuing the development of the ultra-clean coal technology in the areas of our major coal deposits in central and eastern Montana. The technology to convert coal into synthetic petroleum products or natural gas has existed for almost a century, and modern versions of this technology offers great promise for reducing American dependence on foreign oil and developing Montana’s natural resources in a responsible manner.
The plant closest to Montana is in Beulah, North Dakota, at the Dakota Gasification Plant the largest gasifier in America. This plant produces synthetic natural gas from lignite coal. CO2 from this process is piped several hundred miles to oil fields at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, where it is sequestered in the process of enhanced oil recovery.
There have to be better ways to plan for our energy future -- the price tag for the new plant will be 4 (four) billion dollars, that is a lot of money!