History Always Repeats With Government Oil Banking Fascists

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by Tom Valentine

 

The following Appeared in Newsreal Magazine in summer of 1977, and was taken from an earlier article in the Christian Science Monitor. This writer got to know Harlan Trott and therefore learned just how accurate was his reporting. Subsidies are simply corporate welfare; and the oil boys have been guzzling from the public trough since the first Rockefeller/Rothschild monopolies. Huge state supports always accompany these monopolies, protecting them from entrepreneurs with better ideas. As you will see; the oil game has been rigged for a long time. This story is an outstanding history lesson. Note the combination of industry, Congress and Big Banking.

by Harlan Trott, 1974

In this time of brownouts and shortened workweeks called the energy crisis, it may cheer you to know we can make oil from coal cheaper than oil wells can produce it.

A Government scientist named Lewis Karrick had a lot to do with improving the basic process.

Federal energy officials have been suppressing it for 50 years. They blandly deny this, claiming only the inventor can suppress his patents.

By “suppress” we mean, according to Webster: “to keep from public knowledge –to refrain from
divulging.”

The Karrick process involves low-temperature carbonization (LTC) of coal. This means heating coal at from 680 to 1380 degrees F., in the absence of air to prevent combustion, so as to distill out all the oil and gas.

When you treat a ton of coal by LTC, you get back about a barrel of oil; 3,000 cubic feet of rich fuel gas; and 1,500 pounds of smokeless solid fuel. But if you harness the process to an integrated energy plant, using the offpeak steam, the same ton of coal can produce 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity besides.

The Karrick process would combine a carbonizer, a refinery, a city gas works and a central electric station so as to produce oil, gas, smokeless fuel and electricity under the same roof at the same time.

If an LTC plant produced more smokeless fuel than it and the community could consume at the moment, you could convert the surplus to water gas. And the water gas can be converted into four barrels of oil by the (Fischer) synthesis process.

Geologists tell us there are enough latent heat units (B.T.U.s) in America’s coal reserves to last us for a couple of millenia, give or take a few centuries. The LTC process is all it would take to dispel the monopoly myth that we must depend on Arabian princes to regulate our thermostats until world petroleum prices have broached some unspecified hole in the sky where it would pay us to begin using it.

The energy crisis is really only an information crisis.

The cartel is blocking LTC with help from Washington and Wall Street. These three monopoly powers: Big Oil, Big Bureaucracy, Big Banking — oppose LTC because an integrated LTC energy industry would be amenable to private enterprise initiative.

Congress is doling out millions to the energy giants to experiment on variations of Friederich Bergius’ coal-to-gasoline (hydrogenation) process. Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) paid $35 million for it in 1930. They scrapped it in 1953 saying it was useless to keep “trying to get more than a quart of water in a quart jar.”

Our synthetic-fuels program is primarily a charade. In fact, the Department of Interior is so infiltrated with cartel advisers the LTC process has as much chance as a cabbage in a garden tended by goats. But Congress keeps pouring millions in research and development funds down the cartel’s rat hole, never dreaming our federal synthetic-fuels program is only treading water.

Big Banking’s scheme for subsidizing oil from coal is defined in the Nov. Dec. 1973 Defense Transportation Journal.


More on history of energy fascists

 

We continue this saga of Energy corruption by veteran journalist Harlan Trott, who certainly did not endear himself with government nor the whores in the media; many of whom knew this story, but choked on it.

In his 1974 progress report, Interior Secretary Rogers Morton was unknowingly conned into thinking his coal experts had achieved a “spectacular scientific breakthrough by fueling a navy destroyer with oil from coal. The newspaper, television, radio and magazine media were aboard,” Morton enthused, “to record the spectacle for posterity.”

Little did the Secretary realize the cartel’s favorites in his shop were only “putting him on.” His energy advisers were suppressing the fact that in the 1920s, Karrick and his government coworkers were instructed to show Japanese visitors to their Rocky Mountain pilot plants how to make oil from coal and oil shale; and then in 1941, Japan gave us Pearl Harbor with it.

In 1925, the one filling station in Elko, Nevada, was dispensing gasoline made from rocks at the Catlin Oil Shale Company’s plant just 10 miles south of town. All during the 1930s, Karrick’s engineering students were driving cars around Salt Lake City on gasoline made from coal in their campus lab.

Nor was Secretary Morton’s 1974 “progress” report the first time Congress got “taken” by the cartel. When a Senate Committee went to Pittsburgh to hold public hearings on the first synthetic-fuels research subsidy bill during World War II, the Bureau of Mines made a big deal out of driving the senators from their hotel to the federal building in limousines fueled with gasoline whipped up just for the occasion in the Government’s Pittsburgh lab.

Said Senator Gurney to Senator O’Mahoney, “My, what won’t science think up next!” The trouble with our government-sponsored science is the cartel won’t let it get its thinking untracked.

Exxon’s Bergius process is so massive and complex it cannot be made to stand on its own financial feet. The cartel insists the taxpayers must prop it up for them with a subsidy program “comparable to the US Merchant Ship Subsidy Act.” This means fuel bills and taxes will go up.

Big Oils’ Wall Street spokesman is H.C. Bailey, vice president at Kidder, Peabody where he is “responsible in corporate finance for petroleum.”

Bailey concedes “only the largest corporations” are sophisticated or experienced enough in the promotion of massive debt to manage an open-ended pork barrel of this inflationary magnitude. Our federal energy officials endorse Bailey’s concept.

Even though the Government has no viable alternative to its suppressed Karrick process, the Interior Department is calling for an “Apollo-size” oil-from-coal program.

Last September the cartel tried to ram a Ford-backed bill through the House without debate. The measure would have provided up to $4 billion in government loan guarantees to begin building synthetic-fuels plants that aren’t even on paper. The House voted 193 to 192 against buying something less even than a pig in a poke.

There is nothing “miraculous” about LTC, nor did Karrick invent it.

Before 1860, more than 50 plants were extracting oil and gas from coal. Boston had five LTC plants producing oil and gas for heat and light; and axle grease and paraffin for candles. But in 1873, “too much” cheap petroleum had forced the last coal-oil plant to shut down.

Free enterprise made oil from coal before the rise of the Rockefeller dynasty, and it could revive the art, especially with crude oil selling around $12 a barrel. The prospect terrifies the cartel. A small rural co-op can make and distribute electricity. A big farmers co-op can refine and transport petroleum products. A New England town can make its own gas, its own electricity. This has been going on for years. Scores of them still do. So why can’t a big city or a small village — or a Federal TVA — combine all these steps with LTC of coal under the same roof?

The fact that they can is backed by Karrick and his federal coworkers, and eight years of pilot plant tests at the University of Utah.

The Fascist oil/coal scam part 3; Where were the Environmentalists?

 

London Used LTC to clean air

This is an infuriating part of the story. The process could expand local economies enormously, and clean up the environment at same time.

Where were the environmental whackos to keep them straight?

Their absence during these times in Congress (1974) is evidence that the enviro movement was purchased by the Fascists to provide controlled resistance in order to maintain the monopolies.

Harlan Trott did not think to blast them, but he wrote the facts:

Energy officials continue to shrug off this staggering waste. They are the ones who know, but aren’t telling the public what LTC is all about. Meanwhile all this enormous energy wealth goes up the flue in the form of smoke, soot and sulfuric fumes — all for want of a national fuels conservation and development policy.

There isn’t the slightest question about the economic feasibility of the so-called Karrick process. Our Government admits it. Listen to this colloquy between a senator and the Government’s top synthetic-fuels adviser.

“Senator Murdock: The statement by Mr. Kárrick, I will read the statement and then see what you have to say about this: “Therefore, these coals, where there is a market for the smokeless fuels and the gas, can produce oil cheaper on an average—cheaper than the average cost at the well of petroleum in the western part of the United States!…”
“Dr. Fieldner: I think that is a fair statement, if you can get a market for the solid products. That is the main product. They will obtain from this coal from 20 to 35 gallons of tar oil as a byproduct.” (Hearings, on US Senate Res. 53, Oct. 1942, p. 1546).

Simply labeling LTC coal oil a “byproduct” is all it takes to exclude it from our federal R & D program. If our energy officials ran out of gas on the desert, would they spurn a gallon of LTC gasoline because it was a byproduct?” Would the engine balk? Germany fueled its wartime Luftwaffe on oil from coal. Japan bunkered her battleships with LTC oil from Manchuria shale. Did Hitler or Tojo object?

After commercial-scale test runs on Appalachian coal in 1947, Karrick told the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers it is feasible to produce oil from coal in the Hocking Valley for $0.00 a barrel. The going market price or the upgraded coal byproducts—as, electricity, smokeless fuel and phenols—would let you give away the oil and still net a fair return.
Today this startling economic claim for Karrick’s oil-from-coal method is being demonstrated on a commercial scale in England.

The Rexco company is using the very process our Bureau of Mines developed with our tax dollars and then discarded. Rexco owns and runs five LTC plants producing smokeless fuel for industrial and domestic users in Britain’s official clean air zones.

“It is a very efficient plant,” according to Rodney Coltart, “carbonizing 1,000 tons per day, 75 percent of which is recovered as high grade smokeless fuel (coke) for industrial and home use.”

Coltart’s written report to president C.D. Allen of the Natural Resources Corp. explains: “They have to meet rigid standards on their product set up by the Government.” What Coltart didn’t say was that the Government is in the smokeless fuel business, too. It’s a competitor of Rexco. Only the Government’s works aren’t as efficient. Perhaps that’s why Rexco has to operate with one hand tied behind its back. Listen.

“The original plant contemplated six retorts in line but only five were installed since the Coal Board limits their coal allocations.” In other words, Rexco is bucking a state monopoly!

The Snibston plant makes 750 tons of smokeless fuel a day. At the same time the retorts produce three million cubic feet of fuel gas, and around 650 to 700 barrels of tar oil. The Coltart report states:

“Because of the lack of space for processing the oil and phenols into salable products they are burned at high temperatures in a furnace using the excess gas from the retorts. No smoke or odors are discernible. If the tars and phenols were processed and sold, the revenue derived would pay off the cost of the entire plant in about two years, according to the Rexco people.

“The conveying and processing part of the plant involves the services of three men and a supervisor per shift. All were easily trained from scratch. Adding a few more retorts in line would not require any additional personnel.”
Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover (the Bureau of Mines was then in Commerce) made Karrick —not the Bureau

—custodian of the Governments pioneer oil-from-coal research data. Hoover advised Karrick to file patents—as scientists in the Department of Agriculture had been doing—rendering the broadest public service with them, and give the Government full credit.

Sixteen patents were issued to Karrick outright. One was held jointly with Douglas Gould, who was destined to have an outstanding career as a petroleum chemist with a major oil company. One, covering underground distillation and gasification of coal and oil shales, was held jointly with his brother Col. Samuel N. Karrick.

A lawyer named Ranney wrote that the inventions have been explained to the technologists of the Insull group Cities Service, Columbia, United Gas Improvement, Allied Chemical and Consolidation Coal, “all of whom are interested and some of whom are waiting for me to tell them how large an interest they may secure and for how much. The reason for this rather hurried letter is that I have a telegram from the assistant to Mr. Insull that he and their engineers will be in New York on April second to see whether some sort of deal can be made for the (builder of the underground works on Corregidor. All of the Karrick patents have expired, either before or after his death in 1962.

(Corregidor a philippines island was US territory at that time, and, as usual, American corporations were making hay with fascist support)

 

Oil/coal Process killed by greedy Fascists

 

This is final installment of Harlan Trott’s epic tale in 1974.

If Karrick’s process was any good, you say, Standard Oil would have bought him out! Actually, Old John D. tried.

In 1929, Standard Oil officials assisted in drawing up a charter for a subsidiary tentatively titled Oil & Gas Development Company. They tendered Karrick the position of vice president, chief engineer and one-third of the stock.

In exchange, Karrick was to turn aver his patents and supporting data.

That offer followed months of talks between Karrick and a patent broker named Leo Ranney. Ranney was officed a few doors down a corridor from Col. Robert Hayes, at 26 Broadway. Hayes was Standard’s chief counsel. Standard (NJ) is now known as Exxon.

In March 1930, Ranney wrote Standard Oil officials for advice on handling Karrick’s three blanket patent applications on the underground gasification of coal. “As you know, your patent attorneys technologsts have investigated these processes since December,” Ranney reminded them. “Mr. Howard [President of Esso (N.J.)] has called to my attention that there is a vast amount of work ahead in connection with hydrogenation and that there would be probable delay in the development of the gasification processes by Standard alone.

“Considering that Standard and Consolidation are close together, I have talked the processes over several times with Mr. Barrington, and at the last conference he wondered whether the whole underground gasification business might not be a matter that Mr. Rockefeller himself would like to father to benefit both his coal and oil interests.”

The next day Karrick wrote Ranney: “I see no fault with the letter to President Clark of the Standard Oil Development Company of March 21, a draft of which you handed me yesterday, it being understood that it refers to our processes for the underground gasification of coal, as per our agreement of November 1, 1929. Also that Standard interests have no rights or equity at the present time in these processes.”

The same day Standard bid for Karrick’s process, the New York Times reported South Jersey had purchased patents rights to Frederick Bergius’ process for hydrogenation of coal directly to gasoline, from I.G. Farben in Germany. Thus the cartel was on the verge of controlling two contrasting and controversial methods of making, oil from coal — hydrogenation and LTC.

One of the flimsier sophistries advanced by the Bureau of Mines is that the LTC process is a last-gap effort to reinstate the family coal shovel. The Bureau contends that to produce oil and gas in any appreciable amounts, LTC would “glut the country with mountains of char.” Not so! Listen: “Congressman Barrett: Would you produce at the same time considerable amounts of gas with your process?

“Karrick: The Rocky Mountain coals, as far north as Rock Springs, Wyoming, in Colorado and Utah, all yield from 30 to 45 gallons of oil per ton. They vary within the same seams. You get from 2,000 to 2,700 cubic feet of gas out of it, but we learned to heat only until just the last trace of oil is out. Then it can’t be made to smoke under any conditions. It burns with a clear, very long, clear, blue flame. The gas yield can be varied. The more gas you drive out of this smokeless fuel, the lower the B.T.U. of the gas; so you can boost it up to 6,000 cubic feet of 800 B.T.U. gas per ton of coal processed.

“Then it was demonstrated that all of the solid smokeless fuel could be made into water gas. In that case you get about 40,000 cubic feet of 300 to 350 B.T.U. gas from a ton of processed coal. And out of that you could make four barrels of oil by the [Fischer] synthesis process.

“The thing to do is to distill the oil out of the coal, while making a smokeless fuel and high B.T.U. gas. In a national crisis you could quickly go to converting this reactive, solid smokeless fuel into oil … Those who have been using this smokeless fuel [i.e., industries and electric power plants] will then go to burning raw coal for the duration of the emergency. That is the way we think the national fuels economy ought to be handled.” — (Hearings, HR. 7330, May 12, 1950, p. 136, Emphasis added).

As soon as Karrick and his coworkers proved they could make oil from coal cheaper than oil wells, the Government stopped work on the oil-rich coals in the Rocky Mountains. Karrick was transferred to the Burea’s Pittsburgh station where experts from the oil, steel and chemical giants, and their faculty friends at Carnage Tech, could “assist” in the Governments work. The cartels assistance has been largely of a
mortuarial nature ever since.

And today we gave an “energy crisis” and politicians posturing as if they knew anything.

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Tom Valentine (born August 20, 1935, same day as Ron Paul) is a businessman, writer, commentator and radio host with an anti-establishment perspective. He worked with Radio Free America from 1988 to 2004. He tends to align with issues from left and right ends of the political spectrum, as well as libertarianism. His main journalistic interests have been unorthodox health care methods and conspiracy theories. He is a believer in many alternatives as cancer cures, and believes that soy products are unhealthy for human consumption. All of his views are at odds with the mainstream medical community.