Waiting for something only makes it more expensive.
That is becoming clear with the proposed coal-to-oil plant in northern Schuylkill County.
On Monday, John W. Rich Jr. hosted a visit from Chinese scientists who are interested in using the technology to convert their piles of waste coal to energy.
Paradoxically, that interest might drive up the cost of the plant Rich wants to build along Morea Road next to the Gilberton Power Co., John B. Rich Memorial Power Station in Mahanoy Township.
It also emphasizes the need for federal, state and local officials to get moving on the plant as soon as possible and provide the necessary approvals for Rich to start constructing the pioneering facility that will provide good jobs in the county and help the United States reduce its dependence on foreign energy.
Rich, president of Waste Management and Processors Inc., wants to build the plant in order to do something about the piles of coal waste, called culm, that dot northern Schuylkill County.
Through processes called gasification and liquefaction, the culm will be converted into fuel.
It has received endorsements from U.S. Sens. Rick Santorum, who visited the site last week, and Arlen Specter, both R-Pa., U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, D-17, and local business, labor and political leaders.
Holden, Santorum and Specter all have helped get federal backing for the project.
U.S. Department of Defense officials also strongly support the project, planning to use much of the fuel produced at the plant.
Due to worldwide energy demand, estimates for the cost of the plant have grown to $725 million from $612 million, and there is no sign of any decrease.
Indeed, the visit of the Chinese officials indicates that demand will continue to grow, and with it the cost of building the plant.
That should not surprise people.
Anyone who has to put gasoline in his or her car knows that energy demands are soaring and prices are increasing - irregularly, perhaps, and not every week, but steadily nonetheless.
The issue is both a pocket book one and a security one.
Taking advantage of domestic energy sources can reduce the use of foreign sources from Iran, Venezuela and other nations run by anti-American despots who would like nothing better than to destroy this nation.
Reducing our use of their energy will help this country.
The visit by the Chinese group shows the viability and practicality of the technology behind the plant.
While China also is a dictatorship, its leaders are no fools economically.
If they are interested enough in the technology to visit this county to try to obtain it, you can be sure its a good thing.
Outside environmental groups are sounding false alarms about the project, trying to scare county citizens with unfounded fears about what the plant could do to the environment.
These groups have brought forth no proof and no real evidence that the proposed plant will do any harm to the environment.
More waiting will only increase costs and delay the benefits of the project, to the detriment of the county, state and nation.
The plant needs to be built now.