It seems that the newest bad energy fad is taking congress by storm as "top Democrats were circulating a proposal to provide $10 billion in loans for plants that make diesel fuel from coal" as part of a larger energy bill. The problem with using liquid coal as a fuel is that even if it didn't require subsidies it would still be worse for the environment than all kinds of alternatives. Subsidizing it is just terrible. The good news is that Brian Beutler says Harry Reid will oppose this nonsense and he doubts it'll go through.
It was also good to see at the national security conference earlier this week that the message about the trouble with slogans about "energy independence" is breaking through. They had one panel on energy policy during which nobody used the term. A questioner asked why nobody had used the term, and everyone was unanimous in the view that it's become a pernicious concept. There's a problem with over-reliance on dirty fossil fuels, not with over-reliance on "foreign energy" as such.