Search for New Methods to Use Coal May Thwart Arab Oil Threats

The Middle East crisis and continuous pressure by militant Arabs could lead to new research methods for the use of coal instead of oil, Mrs. Dixy Lee Ray, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Agency said here today. “The recent threats of some Arab political leaders do not really affect the research work of the U.S. Atomic Energy Agency,” she said. “But it seems that the world should take a look at coal again.”

Mrs. Ray denied that nuclear power could solve the so-called “energy crisis” predicted by energy experts in the United States and Europe. There are still some problems concerning use of nuclear power to be solved by technologists, she said. Mrs. Ray made her remarks at a news conference during the 17th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“We have to be ready if the Arab oil exporting countries bar crude oil supply,” Mrs. Ray said. Finding better ways to use coal instead of oil would be an important contribution. She referred to threats by militant Arab voices at a meeting of ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last weekend.

Arab threats to blackmail Western countries if they punish Libya for nationalization of 51 percent of the drilling operations on its soil could initiate exploration of further possibilities in the use of coal, according to IAEA sources.

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