The Hobbling of Coal: Policy and Regulatory Uncertainties

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Science  14 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4338, pp. 153-158
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4338.153


The inevitable by-product of societal concern over the side effects of coal production and use is greater than recognized difficulties to meet coal production goals. Thus, society faces the need to make trade-offs it is not adequately anticipating. The primary influences have come from air pollution regulation dealing with sulfur oxides; regulations in this realm were strengthened in 1977. Questions exist about the ability to meet these requirements and about whether tighter controls will be imposed on other pollutants. Problems also exist on the production side—labor unrest, stripmine reclamation requirements, and delays in leasing federally owned coal.