The Vine, an environmental blog at The New Republic, has a piece up attacking provisions for coal-to-liquid plant loan guarantees in the stimulus. They call it "The Senate's Insane Coal Idea." Their argument is that coal-to-liquid plants are big polluters, and that liquified coal produces more emissions than gasoline. I find their objections silly, and another example of why we shouldn't listen to environmentalists when making any sort of serious decisions.
I oppose the stimulus outright, but if we must have it, this provision isn't any worse than most of the garbage contained within it. The Vine article acts like we are just going to start pumping out liquid coal and be burning it like crazy. We aren't. We need alternatives to oil, and this is a possible alternative. Who cares if it is too dirty at the present time. If we don't develop it, we'll never find out if it can be made into a cleaner technology. Dismissing technologies out of hand because of prejudice based on current conditions is what's insane.