Nation: A Blow To Carter's Energy Policy

When President Carter put his comprehensive energy program before Congress last year, he envisioned a major shift from scarce natural gas and uncertain foreign oil to plentiful domestic coal. Coal use was to nearly double by 1985, to 1.2 billion tons a year. The Administration urged tax incentives for the conversion of industrial plants to coal, and it required that coal be used in many new factories and utilities.

Even before the strike, Carter's plan confronted some serious obstacles, notably the enforcement of clean-air standards. To that problem must now be added the question of reliable supplies and stable prices for the...

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