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The Great Plains Gasification Project: The Problem of Juridical/Administrative Incompatibility

Such is the public memory (and so completely has the problem vanished from the scene) that some will recall only with difficulty the vast and costly program on which President Jimmy Carter staked so much-to reduce the American dependence on imported petroleum through the production of substitute synthetic fuels from coal. The major component of that program was a project to produce a synthetic natural gas from coal. And yet even in 1982 in a special issue of The Energy Journal devoted entirely to natural gas, so absorbed were the authors with the process of decontrol, market distortions in a situation of partial decontrol, and apprehension at the prospect of a possible windfall profit tax that the matter of synthetic fuels had dropped entirely out of sight. There was not a single mention of Project Independence. Nor was there any concern for the fundamental problem of replacing a depletable and rapidly depleting resource.

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Energy Specializations: Unconventional Fossil Resources – Coal gasification; Unconventional Fossil Resources –Synfuels; Unconventional Fossil Resources – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, Q40: Energy: General, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources, L95: Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities, Q38: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy

Keywords: Great Plains gasification project, Coal, North Dakota, FERC, Energy policy

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol8-No2-12

Published in Volume 8, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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