Impacts of Synthetic Liquid Fuel Development for the Automotive Market
This study has investigated the environmental, social, economic, and institutional impacts of producing synthetic fuels derived from coal and oil shale. From discussions with energy industry sources, the study concluded that the blending of synthetic and natural crude oils is a more realistic option than the independent development of a separate synthetic fuels industry. The study, therefore, focused on the resource—to-synthetic crude portion of the process chain because differences from present practice would be most evident there.
Because these sources of crude oil are not yet economically competitive — even with today’s high oil prices — a key aspect of the study has been an examination of the profitability of the synthetic fuels enterprise, the business risks deriving from unstable policies and economic conditions, and the process by which decisions to implement the industry will be made.
Reclamation of mined lands
Possible water shortages in the arid West
Air pollution from conversion plants
Extremely rapid community growth rates in rural areas
Conflicts between traditional local and new industrial interests
Loss of local autonomy
Economic risk mitigation for fuel producers.
KeywordsCoal Liquefaction Synthetic Fuel Fuel Industry Stanford Research Institute Percent Annual Rate
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