Coal, petroleum going to remain mainstays in Washington state

Despite the buzz about solar, wind and other new energy sources, America and the world likely will continue to depend on coal, petroleum and natural gas for decades to come.

That was the message that state business leaders heard at a recent policy summit at Semiahmoo Resort presented by the Association of Washington Business, a 7,000-member statewide business association. It's a message that local alternative energy activists challenge - but only in part. As they see it, conventional projections of fossil fuel use don't place enough emphasis on the possibilities of energy conservation.

Association President Don Brunell displayed a graph indicating that most of the increased U.S. demand for energy will be met by conventional sources between now and 2035.

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