Fluctuation and Change in the US Synfuel Development Policy and its Impact on the Japanese Synfuel Development Program
The US Synfuel Development Program was strongly accelerated after each of the two oil crisis. As the oil price declined, and under the Reagan administra-tion with policy change putting emphasis on market mechanism, however, almost all syn-fuel development projects were discontinued. In the U S. the energy issue has lost its attractiveness among the policy makers and the Program, which had originally been con-ceived to address a national security issue, had to be transformed to a program to address the issue of enviromental protection. Consequently, the Program was renamed to be called “Clean Coal Technology Program”.
Stimulated by the U S, Japan started her Synfuel Development Program. It has been maintained on a large scale even after the decline of oil prices, which now makes Japan the only country with a strong synfuel development program being implemented.
The differences in the energy policy between the U S and Japan can be explained by the difference in the situation in the two countries in terms of domestically available energy resources, role of the government, R&D budget and the basic economic measures.