The War On Coal Is Over

6 Jun 2017   Coal

The war on coal has ended. Not because the U.S. exempted itself from the Paris Climate Accord, nor because President Obama no longer sits in the Oval Office. “King Coal” lost the so-called war for a sim-ple economic reason: it’s cheaper to make electricity with domestically produced natural gas. Back in 2008, with the economy in shambles and Obama just elected, natural gas prices set record high levels. No electricity producer should have wanted to burn gas. Coal should have had the market for generation locked up. Coal prices were steady and supplies plentiful while natural gas prices were rela-tively high and quite volatile. But as gas prices plunged, inefficient gas drillers went under and the survivors developed more effi-cient ways to extract their product. They learned to operate and even expand at prices previously con-sidered too low for profitable operation. The coal mining industry had no comparable technological […]

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