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Salvaging the Synthetic Fuels Corporation

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Publication Date: April 1985

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Milton R. Copulos

Topic: Energy (Fuels)

Keywords: Energy and environment

Type: Report


Once hailed as the "centerpiece of President James Carter's energy program," the Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC) is now viewed widely as an agency without a mission. Great strides in energy efficiency, coupled with new oil discoveries outside the Persian Gulf, have dissipated the sense of urgency associated with developing alternatives to foreign oil imports. Falling world oil prices, moreover, have made it unlikely that the huge capital investments necessary for the development of commercial synthetic fuel plants will prove economic in the forseeable future. Consequently, the SFC finds itself faced with the task of trying to establish a synthetic fuels industry at a time when qualified sponsors for projects are proving very hard to find.