Coal Liquefaction: the Answer to Foreign Oil Dependency

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According to a poll conducted by American Pulse Research, Americans feel we are too dependent on foreign oil by a ratio of nine to one (Market Wire) The poll conducted in June of 2008 indicated that 90.7% of Americans felt the United states was too dependent on foreign oil and 67.1% felt that the United States should begin drilling for oil in its reserves to limit our dependency on foreign oil. (Market Wire). According to the Energy Information Administration, a branch of the United States Department of Energy, The United States imported 58% of it’s oil demand from foreign countries in 2007 (Energy Information Administration ). The five nations from which we imported the most oil and the percentage of the total amount imported were as follows: Canada, (18.2%), Mexico (11.4%), Saudi Arabia (11.0%), Venezuela (10.1%) and Nigeria (8.4%) (Energy Information Administration). In his Washington Times Article dated July, 26 2008, William Rusher states that “Shaking off our dependence on oil will involve huge technological change (Rusher).” He further states that “It may well take a war, or some other disaster that interrupts foreign oil supplies, to force the leading nations of the West to get serious about replacing precarious sources of oil (Rusher).” Perhaps the solution to the United States dependency on foreign oil is not with tapping our own supplies of fossil fuel, but with our own supplies of coal. Technology developed in the 1930’s allows the production of oil from coal (Strong). Jonathan Strong advocates that “Coal is one of the most abundant fossil fuels in the world and can be mined relatively easily. Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Montana have huge reserves of coal (Strong).” Strong states that Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana believes that his state “could produce oil and other petroleum products from the millions of tons of coal reserves it owns in southeast Montana (Strong).” The cost to produce a barrel of oil via coal liquefaction is...
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