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2005 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference

4. POLICY POSITION ON COAL TO LIQUIDS


BACKGROUND

The volatility of oil markets throughout the world requires a reassessment of America’s need for energy independence.  Today about 56 percent of our oil consumption is dependent on oil imports from foreign sources.  A growing list of “experts” has concluded that world oil production will peak during this decade.  With the enormous growth of major developing countries such as China and India, the United States already is experiencing serious competition for imported energy resources, and this situation likely will worsen in the future.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense purchases a preponderance of its fuels from Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations.  This has far-reaching implications for national security and presents the opportunity for foreign fuel imports to be used as potential economic weapons.  It is important for the United States to act decisively to avert this impending situation.  To establish a foundation for continued economic growth and prosperity, it is incumbent on this country to stabilize our energy prices by adding large supplies of domestically provided fuels to the market.  Coal, biomass, and oil shale can be quickly and easily converted through existing technologies to liquid fuels that ensure energy supplies, provide homeland security, and place the country on a clear path toward energy independence.

RECOMMENDATION

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments (SLC) urges the president, Congress, and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy to begin serious efforts toward energy independence for homeland security through the development and utilization of domestic fuels from the nation’s most plentiful energy resource --- coal, supplemented by biomass and oil shale where possible and practical.  The SLC further urges the U.S. Department of Defense to take immediate action to obtain its major fuel sources from indigenous energy resources for the safety and security of this nation.

 

Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 2, 2005, Mobile, Alabama.

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