Synthetic Fuels Corporation
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The Synthetic Fuels Corporation was a U.S. government-funded corporation established in 1980 by the Synthetic Fuels Corporation Act to create a financial bridge for the development and construction of commercial synthetic fuel manufacturing plants (such as coal gasification) that would produce alternatives to imported fossil fuels. The Great Plains coal gasification plant in Beulah, ND, still producing natural gas and sequestering carbon in 2009, was built with the support of the Department of Energy and applied for further support by this corporation, partly as a result of efforts by Reagan's Energy Secretary James B. Edwards. The corporation was abolished in 1985.
The original intention of the corporation was to partner with industry (primarily oil and gas companies) to create a market for domestically-produced synthetic liquid fuels, with a goal of producing 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) of liquid fuel per day within five years. Critics of the Synthetic Fuels Corporation[who?] point to its failure to achieve its goals as a reason to prevent government from interfering with free markets. The purported objective behind the Synthetic Fuels Corporation was to move research and development of synthetic fuels out of the Department of Energy and into a public-private partnership that would produce tangible results in a short period of time. Many believe[weasel words] that the drop in worldwide oil prices in the early 1980s played a primary role in obviating the need for the corporation, at least from a short-term economic perspective.
- CNN, "Glenn Beck: U.S. is a suicidal superpower"
- New York Times, "Search for New Oil Sources Leads to Processed Coal"
- National Archives, Executive Order 12346 establishing the Synthetic Fuels Corporation
- World Energy Council, "Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century: A Market Perspective"
- Heritage Foundation, "Remember the Synthetic Fuels Corporation?"
- Great Plains Biofuels Plant History from former Department of Energy employee