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Energy Sources
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Coal is one of the true measures of the energy strength of the  United States.   One quarter of the world’s coal reserves are found within the United States, and the energy content of the nation’s coal resources exceeds that of all the world’s known recoverable oil.  Coal is also the workhorse of the nation’s electric power industry, supplying more than half the electricity consumed by Americans.

Coal-fired electric generating plants are the cornerstone of America's central power system. To preserve this economically-vital energy foundation, innovative, low-cost environmental compliance technologies and efficiency-boosting innovations are being developed by the Energy Department's Fossil Energy research program.

To tap the full potential of the nation’s enormous coal supplies, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy is working with the private sector to develop innovative technologies for an emission-free coal plant of the future.  

This research and development program is pioneering more effective pollution controls for existing coal-fired power plants and an array of new technologies that would eliminate air and water pollutants from the next generation of power plants.  Research is also underway to capture the greenhouse gases emitted by coal plants and prevent them from entering the atmosphere.

For statistical information relating to the extraction and consumption of coal and the electricity it produces, visit the Energy Information Administration.

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Brief History of Coal Use

Clean Coal Power Initiative

Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships Imagine the dent we could make in carbon dioxide emissions if we could find a safe and cost-effective way to “bury” it. DOE is investigating this very concept – carbon sequestration – together with private industry, academic institutions, state governments, environmental organizations and international partners. More>

Coal Gasification


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