The development of alternatives for traditional fossil energy sources may have caught the public's eye at this moment, but for the short term (1980-2000), oil, natural gas, and coal are the resources that will be the source of most of the world's energy. The well-known problem is that only slightly more than half of the nation's fuel needs are supplied by U.S. production, and numerous diverse difficulties in increasing this production exist. For example, the production of more coal is hampered not by available reserves but by the lack of acceptable methods of mining and burning coal to avoid pollution. Facing a different set of problems are the efforts to extend petroleum exploration, which is moving into increasingly inaccessible regions offshore where the geological factors are unassessed and the existing technology for drilling is inadequate. Even the most aggressive efforts to develop new national reserves have been slowed by the unusually complex regulations that govern offshore exploration today.