Check out this post at From On High, especially the quote from a NY Times article.
Coal isn't the foul word that some people see it as. If we're to break the dependence on foreign oil, we have to start by using what we've got here in America...then go from there.
In fact, the world's largest deposit of clean-burning coal was discovered in Utah during the 90's, but Bill Clinton then decided to close off the area by either making it a wildlife refuge or a national park (I can't remember which right off the bat). Most suspect this was due to the fact that this was due to pressure from both environmentalists and big oil companies...who stood to lose a lot should that clean-burning coal have been mined and used to create energy.
We have an abundance of coal in this country, and it's not nearly as bad for the environment. To quote a Democrat from this article.
“For so many, filthy coal is a dirty four-letter word,” said Representative Nick V. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “These individuals, I tell you, have their heads buried in the sand.”
Looks like things aren't so bleak, after all. Mine this coal, use it to create energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil to power our houses. Gasoline prices will subsequently come down...and everyone will be happy.