Continued use of petroleum and natural gas by the electric utility market at the present rate will aggravate the serious supply problems for these fuels. Programs underway to augment our oil and gas supplies and to diversify our energy base will have little impact for many years. In the meantime, fossil fuel-fired powerplants must supply a large part of our electrical power demands, and only coal is available in the United States in sufficient quantity to provide this energy. Pollution regulations restricting sulfur oxide emissions from powerplants have been one of the major deterrents to the use of the high-rank, high-sulfur coals of the Midwest and East. The cost of flue gas desulfurization will be high, ranging from 1.2 to 3.2 Mill/kw-hr. The average cost increase to consumers is expected to be about 3 to 6 percent and in some instances as much as 15 percent. However, the added burden may not be as high as that of dependence on foreign oil, both in terms of price and reliability of supply. Combustion of high-sulfur coal followed by stack gas cleanup appears to be the cheapest alternative for meeting our electricity needs in the next few decades.