In the spring of 2007, Williams was invited to become a member of the Coal to Liquids Working Group of the Western Governors Association (WGA). The mandate of the Working Group was to produce a report advising the WGA about coal to liquids (CTL) technologies as part of a larger WGA effort on alternative transportation fuels.
Issues promoted by Williams that were reflected in the Working Group’s final report were the importance of: (i) using low-cost CO2 from early CTL plants for megascale CO2 saline formation storage projects to help ascertain the gigascale viability of CO2 storage as a carbon mitigation strategy, (ii) using low-cost CO2 for CO2 EOR projects, and (iii) coprocessing biomass and coal to make CBTL with CCS as a strategy for realizing low or even zero net GHG emission rates for synfuels. But Williams did not agree with all the report’s findings and especially with its main public policy recommendation on incentives for commercializing synfuels technologies. As a result, Williams was invited to prepare a separate statement that accompanies the main report, highlighting his disagreements with the main findings and especially his view that commercialization incentives should give priority to systems that offer significant GHG emissions mitigation benefits in displacing crude oil-derived fuels.