(See Appendix A for a detailed description of the project and the charge to the committee.)
To address its charge, the committee conducted four major tasks: (1) acquisition and review of information on DOE's current coal programs and planning; (2) development of a strategic planning framework, including criteria for program objectives, timing, and priorities; (3) assessment of current and alternative coal RDD&C activities in the context of EPACT and the committee's strategic planning framework; and (4) development of conclusions and recommendations based on all the foregoing committee activities.
DOE's "Coal Strategic Plan" was still in preparation and not available during the conduct of the study. The committee therefore used a number of other documents that DOE provided to obtain an overview of current and planned coal-related RDD&C activities. Documentation provided by DOE is referenced as appropriate throughout this report. This information was supplemented by DOE staff presentations to the committee (see Appendix F).
In developing a framework for strategic assessment of the DOE program, the committee sought to reflect the key factors likely to affect future coal use in the United States and elsewhere. Scenarios were developed for three time periods: near-term (1995-2005), mid-term (2006-2020), and long-term (2021-2040). The committee defined these time periods based on anticipated major trends in coal use. For the near-term period—over the next 10 years—scenarios for coal use will likely remain similar to those of today. Power generation will continue to be the principal U.S. use of coal, although the need for new baseload power generation facilities will be low. The mid-term period (2006-2020) will likely be one of transition. Power generation will remain the largest coal use, with substantial