On June 13, 2007, Senators Durbin and Obama (and actually ALL Democrats and the RINOs from Maine) voted against an amendment 1505 (to S.Amdt 1502) to H.R. 6 (Clean Energy Act of 2007).
This bill would have set forth permitting guidelines for the construction of coal-to-liquid plants, specifically those that use the Fischer-Tropsch process for converting coal (or natural gas) to a liquid fuel.
It is a shame that our Senators have once again set unreasonably high barriers for us as a nation to become ever so more independent from the fuel supplied by other nations. My hunch is that Obama and Durbin would say that we should focus our resources on other forms of energy production, such as wind and solar. I also suspect that they'd claim that there are environmental hazards from using coal as a source of energy, as the carbon ultimately takes the form of carbon dioxide after it is used in our vehicles. This, they might claim, is a contributor to global warming, which, they also might claim, is bad.
This is a very sad outcome. This technology has the potential to completely replace our need for foreign oil. Completely!!!! No, it can't happen right away, but this is one of those things that is, well, actually possible.
It is also possible to research solar and wind technologies at the same time, so I hope that is not their excuse.
The carbon dioxide argument is weak too, since we will not reduce our oil imports if these plants are not built. We will still be burning oil and generating carbon dioxide.
The real difference is WHERE WE GET THE OIL FROM! Getting the oil from OUR coal is far more beneficial to our nation than getting oil from foreign nations. Think of the jobs. Think of the national pride. Think of all the tax revenue from the manufacturing process.
This is a vote that is against our National Security, against common sense, and a vote that helps to deepen our roots in the Middle East, Venezuela, and other such places in the world. The Senate really SCREWED UP! You must contact your Senator and express your disappointment.