MINING: New Industry for the West

Under a blazing sun, the governors of Colorado and Utah last week took part in a historic ceremony: the opening of the first privately financed U.S. plant to make gasoline in quantity from a solid hydrocarbon. The place: American Gilsonite Co.'s new $14 million refinery outside Grand Junction, Colo. There, as Colorado's Steven L. R. McNichols and Utah's George Dewey Clyde each pulled a handle, water gushed from a pipeline, turned black with particles of Gilsonite.

Gilsonite is one of nature's freaks, a petroleum-like substance which, through geologic accident, failed to liquefy....

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