By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – Since the 1970s, researchers assumed the nation had enough coal to last 250 years. Now a study by The National Research Council suggests it's likely closer to 100 years at the current rate of production.
Denver-based consultant and chair of the research committee that wrote the report, Corale Brierley, says that without knowing exactly how much coal rests under the ground and where it is, forming a national energy strategy will be difficult.
Meanwhile, Brierley says this study has a significant impact on coal states like Wyoming. In order for the state to realize its potential, it needs to have a good idea of where quality coal is located.
Brierley also expects extraction to become more dangerous in the future as miners are forced deeper into the ground to find hidden reserves.