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West Virginia governor backs idea of guaranteed price floors for oil

But Manchin's proposal went a step beyond talk and ideas, setting out a concrete way to begin attracting more money to development of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind or biomass electricity generation. “I've always been told the $35, $40 range (per barrel of oil) is where alternative fuels become viable” Manchin told The News-Record after a tour of Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine. “Let's find that benchmark ... I don't see another way.”

Price floors for oil may be the key to attracting long-term investment to many different types of alternative fuels, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III said during a visit to Campbell County on Friday.

Manchin and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal both agreed that working together to pressure the federal government to act on energy issues facing the nation is an important role in which both states should be invovled.

But Manchin's proposal went a step beyond talk and ideas, setting out a concrete way to begin attracting more money to development of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind or biomass electricity generation.

“I've always been told the $35, $40 range (per barrel of oil) is where alternative fuels become viable” Manchin told The News-Record after a tour of Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine. “Let's find that benchmark ... I don't see another way.”

Alternative energy producers often say new technologies requires oil prices in that range to be economically viable. Oil producers, in turn, say advanced exploration techniques including horizontal, deep-sea drilling and secondary recovery require similar prices, too.

Manchin, chairman of both the Southern States Energy Board and National... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Price floors for oil may be the key to attracting long-term investment to many different types of alternative fuels, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III said during a visit to Campbell County on Friday.

Manchin and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal both agreed that working together to pressure the federal government to act on energy issues facing the nation is an important role in which both states should be invovled.

But Manchin's proposal went a step beyond talk and ideas, setting out a concrete way to begin attracting more money to development of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind or biomass electricity generation.

“I've always been told the $35, $40 range (per barrel of oil) is where alternative fuels become viable” Manchin told The News-Record after a tour of Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine. “Let's find that benchmark ... I don't see another way.”

Alternative energy producers often say new technologies requires oil prices in that range to be economically viable. Oil producers, in turn, say advanced exploration techniques including horizontal, deep-sea drilling and secondary recovery require similar prices, too.

Manchin, chairman of both the Southern States Energy Board and National Governors Association's Committee on Natural Resources, said he first got the idea of oil price floors from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who has had several unique energy proposals.

Manchin compares price floors to farming subsidies that guaranteed crop prices during the later years of the Great Depression, encouraging production even when demand drops. Manchin thinks the same system could attract money to alternative energy, weaning the country off oil from the Middle East and Latin America, where rhetoric against the U.S. is growing.

“All it does is stabilize prices so a person can stay in business,” he said. “I don't know why they can't use that mindset (with oil).”

Freudenthal is unsure whether such a proposal - similar to ones proposed in the 1980s - will gain traction in Washington, D.C. But he agrees with Manchin that Congress needs to invest in alternative energy.

He said it would help if congressional and White House leadership “were to frankly get more serious about the energy crisis,” the U.S. is facing.

“In the 1980s they came relatively close to an oil import fee and the urgency went away,” Freudenthal said. “What worries me is we're going to go through the same cycle where people say, ‘yeah but gas is down to $2.30 a gallon.'”

Manchin wants action now.

“If they don't have something going by 2010, bricks and mortar in place, I feel sorry for the next generation.”

And while he acknowledges price floors would benefit both Wyoming and West Virginia, both of which are gunning for cleaner coal power plants and coal-to-liquid industries, Manchin insists it goes beyond the states' borders.

“Understand we have a national challenge - this is bigger than Wyoming and West Virginia,” Manchin said. “Why in the world don't we just step up - if we're going to attract investment in alternative fuels?”


Source: http://www.gillettenewsreco...

SEP 17 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/4652-west-virginia-governor-backs-idea-of-guaranteed-price-floors-for-oil
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