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The Synthetic Fuels Corporation was a U.S. government-funded corporation established in 1980 by the Synthetic Fuels Corporation Act to create a market for synthetic fuel alternatives to imported fossil fuels (such as coal gasification). The Great Plains coal gasification plant in Beulah, NDmarker, still producing natural gas and sequestering carbon in 2009 , was built by this corporation, partly as a result of efforts by Reagan's Energy Secretary James B. Edwards. The corporation was abolished in 1985. J.J. Dooley, Federal Investments in Energy R&D: 1961-2008. US Dept. of Energy, October, 2008.
"During the period [1981-1988] federal energy R&D expenditures fell by more than 50% in real terms."

The original intention of the corporation was to partner with industry (primarily oil companies) to create a market for domestically-produced synthetic liquid fuels, with a goal of producing 2 million barrels of liquid fuel per day within five years. Critics of the Synthetic Fuels Corporation point to its failure to achieve its goals as a reason to prevent government from interfering with free markets. The purported objective behind the Synthetic Fuels Corporation was to move research and development of synthetic fuels out of the Department of Energy and into a public-private partnership that would produce tangible results in a short period of time. Many believe that the drop in worldwide oil prices in the early 1980s played a primary role in obviating the need for the corporation, at least from a short-term economic perspective.

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