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Texas Project Gets Synfuels Corp. Funds

September 25, 1985|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Synthetic Fuels Corp., fighting with both Congress and the Reagan Administration for its survival, awarded $60 million in federal subsidies Tuesday to an oil project in Texas.

The quasi-government corporation's five directors--all appointed by President Reagan--unanimously approved $24.4 million in federal loan guarantees and $35.6 million in price supports for Greenwich Oil Co.'s Forest Hill heavy oil project in Wood County, Tex.

The award is the first subsidy handed out by the agency since April, 1984, when it was immobilized by the resignations of several directors amid congressional investigations into conflicts of interest and alleged misconduct by some of the directors.

Tuesday's action follows by almost three weeks what Reagan Administration officials had labeled an "agreement" by SFC Chairman Edward E. Noble not to authorize any subsidy contracts until the President decides if he wants the agency continued, abolished or reduced further in size.

Officials said Tuesday that question may be decided during a Cabinet meeting with Reagan tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

The House voted 312 to 111 in July to effectively abolish the agency, but the Senate has taken no action.

According to several Administration sources, Noble pleaded during a meeting with Reagan last week for permission to approve the subsidy for the Texas project plus $684 million in government aid for two projects in Utah and Colorado.

But the sources, who spoke only on the condition that they not be identified, said the meeting was adjourned before Reagan could make a decision.

"He's just going to have to wait," one source said when asked if Noble and the other directors of the agency could approve any awards this week.

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