COAL: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy (June 2007)Report in Brief
Coal provides nearly a quarter of U.S. energy supplies and is used to generate more than half of the nation's electricity. Although future use of coal may be impacted by regulation of carbon dioxide emissions, coal demand is expected to increase over the next 10-15 years. At the request of Congress, the National Research Council conducted a study to examine R&D funding needs to support such "upstream" aspects of coal mining as worker safety, environmental protection and reclamation, coal reserve assessments, and mining productivity. The report concludes that an increased R&D investment is needed in these areas and recommends that an additional $144 million should be allocated. This R&D effort should be coordinated through stronger partnerships among federal agencies, with involvement of states and industry.