Coal emerged as a potential domestic source for motor vehicle fuel, and many saw West Virginia as a major provider of feedstock for coal-to-liquid fuel plants. That form of domestic energy could lessen this nation’s dependence on foreign oil -- a movement that would reward the American people with a more reliable source of transportation fuel and this state with expanded employment opportunities.
While lower motor-fuel prices may have nudged some of us into complacency, two of three coal-to-liquid plants proposed for West Virginia are still moving forward, albeit more slowly. The third remains on the drawing board.
Even during these tough financial times, project sponsors see merit in converting domestic coal into transportation fuels. That is good news for Americans who want reliable sources of domestic energy.
We have seen volatility in energy prices. We know that shipping billions of dollars overseas to purchase energy has created significant financial consequences at home. And we know that domestic coal can play a critical role in delivering energy to the American people.
The successful conclusion of domestic coal-to-liquid projects in West Virginia would establish a valuable template that creates a multitude of benefits for the United States.