Domestic Aluminum Resources:

Dilemmas of Development

EMD-80-63-II: Published: Jul 17, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 1980.

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Comments were provided from Federal agencies, aluminum companies, and academic advisers concerning major policy questions about U.S. aluminum resource development and industrial policy.

GAO found that the comments were frequently long and reflected a great deal of informed, deliberate thought. They also illustrated how technical data are influenced by subjective judgment and particular organizational perspective; that abstracted technical judgments may mask other considerations; that there is not one potential solution but numerous ones, depending on the definition of the research objective; and that the research objective for the Bureau of Mines' aluminum miniplant program was changed to develop a nonbauxitic alumina technology rather than a process information matrix. Additionally, a general and perhaps tenuous consensus emerged from the comments on two points. First, GAO was thought to be unfair to the Bureau of Mines in applying a commercial criterion to the miniplant program. Second, nonbauxitic alumina development is important to the United States, irrespective of where new primary aluminum capacity is located.

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