Response to Energy Needs

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) continues its active program of research and development related to energy resources and their utilization in Illinois. All of these activities have been combined under the Energy Resources and Utilization Laboratory (ERUL) while maintaining research sections in coal, oil and natural gas, and energy-related environmental engineering. The coal and the oil and natural gas sections focus mainly on resource supply issues; the coal group also considers mine subsidence problems. Energy and environmental engineering focuses on diverse issues of coal cleaning, coal by-product utilization, and sorbents for methane adsorption and flue-gas cleaning. Energy resource economics is also included in ERUL. With more than 20 researchers, ERUL is attracting external funding to address Illinois and national energy issues and is developing interdisciplinary projects to investigate current areas of interest in Illinois such as the development of coalbed and coal mine methane resources. With continued collaboration among ISGS staff, faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other researchers around the country, the ISGS is committed to innovative and ongoing investigations of Illinois energy resources.

One new aspect of that commitment is the development of an information series called Illinois in the Global Energy Marketplace. This is the initial publication of the series. It provides background on two recent energy marketplace events, summer 2000 gasoline prices and winter 2000-2001 natural gas prices, affecting Illinois residents. This publication is also available in a printed version and as a printable pdf file; online updates will be posted to this web page as energy markets change and new trends develop. Because world energy markets are becoming increasingly more integrated, the Illinois in the Global Energy Marketplace series will assist Illinois residents, businesses, and government agencies in understanding new trends and will provide background and information links to both domestic and international information resources. For additional information, contact Robert J. Finley, Director, Energy and Earth Resources Center (217-244-8389 or


Author: Robert J. Finley, Petroleum Geologist