Congressional Digest

Congressional Digest January 2013 No. 1 Vol. 92
The Future of Coal

The Future of Coal

The Changing of the U.S. Coal Industry

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Coal, a nonrenewable fossil fuel, has been used for heating since the days of the cave man; however, it was the need for energy during the Industrial Revolution that led to coal becoming a dominant supplier of energy. The roots of coal’s primary use — for electric power generation — can be traced back to Thomas Edison’s invention of the first practical coal-fired electric generating station in 1882, which supplied electricity to some New York City residents.

Today, coal is an abundant U.S. resource. The United States holds the largest estimated recoverable reserves of coal in the world — enough to la…

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