http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/21/n...00&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all $7 billion investment can build a plant that produces 150,000 barrels per day of gasoline or diesel fuel from coal at a cost of $35 per equivalent barrel of oil. Montana has 120 billion tons of coal (I think the conversion rate is 4 barrels per ton, IIRC). Basic math: we need 86 such plants costing $600 billion to replace the 13 million barrels per day we now import at a cost of about $230 billion a year. 120 billion tons would last 101 years at the same rate. $600 billion is about 5% of our annual GDP ($11 trillion). However, no companies seem to be eager to make this kind of investment. Is it because they fear oil going back to sub $30s? And certainly the government is not ready for this kind of commitment at least not with Bush as president. Note also that mining tar sands costs less, about $20 per barrel, but this is a dirty process and perhaps not a fair comparison. My point is it doesnât matter if Peak Oil is true or not. The prospects cannot sustain oil prices to be over 40$ long term (inflation adjusted).