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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database
In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Mines published a system of coal-resources classification that incorporated definitions and criteria to be used by the two agencies. This system was adopted by many state geological surveys. However, because of criticism and ambiguities, the two agencies decided to revise, enlarge, and make more precise the definitions and criteria and to include advice, suggestions, and recommendations aimed at guiding those engaged in resource estimation. In addition, a decision was made to include conversion data for the English and metric systems of measurement. Finally, a report was to be written that would be a compendium on the methodologies and criteria for the classification of coal resources and reserves.
Advice from the state geologists of the principal coal-bearing states was solicited. Similarly, the existing 1976 classification system was discussed with representatives of the nations cooperating in the International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Coal Reserves and Resources Data Bank Service. Their comments were considered and incorporated in the revision that is nearing completion.
In 1977, the U.S. Department of Energy took over most of the coal-related functions and personnel of the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The revision is under the auspices of the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Throughout the revision, every effort has been made not to negate the hundreds to thousands of coal-resource estimates already published or being prepared by geologists and engineers in the United States. Also, foreign resource specialists have indicated that the revision should have international comparisons as an objective. This objective has been accomplished.
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