The production of liquid fuels from coal will very likely become an important part of the hydrocarbon energy mix of the future, provided that technical and environmental obstacles are overcome economically. The coal industry should be able to handle a coal-to-liquids (CTL) industry of modest size, using 60-70 million short tons or 54-64 million metric tonnes of coal per annum, without premature depletion of the country's coal reserves. However, attempts to use CTL technology to replace all petroleum imports would deplete the nation's coal reserves by the end of the century. ?? 2009 U.S. Government.