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The energy requirements of the United States are expected to increase at the rate of about 5% a year, doubling every 15-18 years. By 1980, U. S. energy requirements will be more than 50% higher than for 1968. Today, oil and gas are by far the most important fuels used in the U. S., and make up most of the value of energy fuel supplied by the Rocky Mountain states. Oil and gas must compete in the marketplace with other fuels for the energy dollar and, when the cost and convenience of another fuel are better than those of oil or gas for a particular use, then that fuel will take the market.
The Rocky Mountain region is one of North America's great storehouses of energy fuels. As energy fuel requirements increase and the usage of uranium, oil shale, and coal become more important in the total fuel picture, the proportion of fuels supplied by the Rocky Mountain states will become larger. Usage of uranium is expected to increase at a rate of 25-30% per year during the next 12-15 years. Commercial hydrogenation of coal probably will begin during this period, and it is possible that commercial production of oil from shale and tar sands will be realized. Because the Rocky Mountain region contains the largest known U. S. reserves of these three fuels, it will supply an increasing amount of the energy fuels of the U. S.
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