The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Energy sources

Time has come for synthetic oil

Early in the 20th Century, Germany developed a process (Bergius Process) for converting coal into a liquid fuel. This process helped Germany in their World War II war effort, and the synthetic oil plants became prime targets for U.S. bombers. After the war, a "Synthetic Oil Demonstration Plant" was constructed by the Bureau of Mines in Louisiana, Mo., using the German technology. The cost estimates for commercial production were so low that "Big Oil" pressured the Eisenhower to terminate the work in 1952.
The United States has tremendous reserves of coal. Now would be a good time to revive synthetic oil production. It would help us achieve energy independence and give "Big Oil" some competition. Instead of shipping coal from Wyoming to a West Coast port for export, a synthetic oil pipeline could be constructed from Wyoming to the West Coast. Mining, production and oil export would provide U.S. jobs and the oil export would help balance our trade deficit with China.
Jack E. Sceva
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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