Can the U.S. Cope with Skyrocketing Coal Production—

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 43-47

Document Type: Feature article


Coal must become the nation's chief tool for increasing energy self-reliance. Coal is abundant. The technology to use it is available today. There is an existing production and distribution base to build on. Finally, coal can be converted into a wide range of fuel products or used as a feedstock for chemical production. Already, several proposals to build coal-based synthetic natural gas plants have been anounced. And the technology to produce liquid fuels from coal is advancing rapidly. Even in the face of unprecedented shortfalls of U.S. oil and gas, there are those who see coal as an irreversible pollutant, which must, at all costs, be outlawed. What this vocal minority fails to acknowledge is that coal can now be mined and burned in ways compatible with environmental quality.

Subject Headings: Coal | Chemicals | Natural gas | Environmental issues

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