Increasing Role for 'Clean Coal' Seen in the Future

Despite $2 billion in taxpayer funding -- and $3 billion by private companies -- since 1985, federal 'clean coal' research has resulted in little practical technology.

Published: 03-Jan-2005

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WASHINGTON -- Despite the rising cost of gasoline, oil and natural gas, the next session of Congress will begin in January with no clear consensus on a national energy policy.

Partisan bickering is largely to blame. But even outside Congress, there is little agreement about how to solve the country's energy problems.

Some of the debate focuses on coal, which supplies 52 percent of U.S. electricity and is the country's most plentiful fuel source. Coal-fired power plants are bitterly opposed by environmentalists who say they contribute to global warming. But utilities are proposing to build 100 additional plants in the next few years.

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