Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
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