Energy: Coal's Clouded Post-Strike Future

The fuel is there, and it can be dug—but plants may not want to use it

Can a 19th century fuel that is dangerous to mine, difficult to transport and dirty to burn free the world's most energy-hungry nation from its crushing dependence on foreign oil? All along, that has been the big question mark over coal, the linchpin in President Carter's National Energy Plan. Carter's goal for coal is to boost output to 1.2 billion tons a year by 1985—an unprecedented increase of almost 75% over the 685 million tons mined last year—and to coax electric utilities and industry to burn...

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