STANFORD, Cal--A two-year study by more than 100 students and faculty members at Stanford University has concluded that American dependence on foreign oil will decline over the next 45 years and that coal will become the nation's primary source of energy.
The report also predicts that nuclear power will fade as an energy source, partly to be replaced by solar energy, and that there will be a trend away from suburban sprawl toward higher density housing.
Grant Ireson, Stanford professor of industrial engineering and director of the study, said the United States has enough coal to supply all of the nation's energy needs for 400 years.
A 40-per-cent icrease in coal production, coupled with a 6-per-cent increase in domestic oil production, could reduce current oil and gas imports by one-third, Ireson said.
The study also emphasizes conservation, to be achieved by reducing automobile size and by using electronic devices to regulate lighting and ventilation system.
The study, funded by more than $200,000 in federal grants, concluded that Americans increasingly will favor protection of the environment and curbs on material progress.