TR 51 - Status, Issues, and Impacts of Coal Slurry Pipelines on Agriculture and Water, A.M. Michelson and J.W. Green, January 1988

Uncertain petroleum costs and supplies continue to make coal an economical and reliable fuel alternative. Coal slurry pipelines may further lower the cost of coal as a fuel, as well as provide competitive alternatives to some shippers. Increased competition and reductions in transportation rates would decrease the delivered price of coal to the buyer and, ultimately, to the consumer. A variety of economic, environmental and legal questions have been raised over the construction and operation of slurry pipelines. The primary issues of concern in this report are pipeline eminent domain, water rights and scarcity, environmental impacts on land and water quality and economic competition with railroads. Each of these issues is discussed, particularly as it relates to agriculture.