Seeking Alpha

EPA's new carbon rules hurt coal, could accelerate shift to natural gas

  • Both critics and supporters of the new EPA draft regulations on CO2 emissions agree on one thing: This will be the final blow to many proposed coal plants.
  • The truth is, U.S. coal generation already was in decline not because of climate regulations, but because of good ol' free-market capitalism; the boom in natural gas production has dramatically increased supplies, sent prices plummeting and prompted a shift away from coal.
  • Among potential long-term winners: U.S. nat gas drillers such as CHK and XOM, drilling services firms such as HAL and BHI, pipeline companies such as SE and KMI, makers of gas-fired turbines such as GE and SI, power generators such as NRG and CPN if electricity prices rise.
  • Likely losers: Coal appears headed for a decline, and companies with large Appalachian operations such as JRCC and ANR could suffer most as more coal comes from cheaper-to-access deposits in the Illinois Basin and Wyoming; big industrial companies, which have used low U.S. power prices as a competitive advantage, are concerned.
  • ETFs: KOL, IDU, PUI, XLU, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.
Comments (87)
  • Bob de'Long
    , contributor
    Comments (698) | Send Message
     
    It takes 5 to 7 year to build the "proposed plants" that this article discusses. The PV of cash flow 5-7 years out is zero.

     

    The rules might affect some firms that sell or construct the plants, otherwise the investment value is zero.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:24 AM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Using that logic, no one would ever build power plants.
    21 Sep 2013, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (323) | Send Message
     
    You guys tried all your dirty techniques last year. It didn't work well. Coal usage up 10% this year.

     

    And morons in SA. ANR is largest met coal players in usa and they are losers ? GFU
    21 Sep 2013, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    $ANR still has significant exposure to thermal drama but as long as Met continues its trend upward they should be fine.
    21 Sep 2013, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    Why construct new powerplants; take existing plants and convert their steam boilers to NG? Turbines and powerlines are in place.
    21 Sep 2013, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    You misunderstood, these proposed rules won't stop new power plants in general just COAL power plants... Many coal plants are being converted to NG already.

     

    Thermal coal producers will definitely be hurting should these rules go into effect and not be defeated/overturned. Currently the EPA has to prove that CCS technology is commercially feasible. With the recent news that in Europe a similar concept to CCS tech was shut down due to it failing to be profitable this may be harder now for the EPA to do...

     

    It's important to remember though that should thermal coal producers shut down, met coal prices would no longer have steam to supplement the high costs of mining met coal... average costs will skyrocket and either the ASPs of met coal will go up with costs or the entire industry could disappear. This would lead to the cost of structures and products using steel increasing immensely.

     

    Just hope consumers are ready to pay more for electricity and steel products.
    21 Sep 2013, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4040) | Send Message
     
    Energy source diversification limits extreme exposure to the vagaries of of market forces.

     

    Coal is definitely not dead, wigit's comment is great, but I'll further add that with NG export facilities picking up pace it looks like longer term (3-5 years) NG prices will rise, making existing coal plants more competitive - and therefore less likely to be retired short term, as well as likely making coal plants constructed under the new terms more cost feasible.
    21 Sep 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Good point kmi
    21 Sep 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Val Halla
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
     
    really? can't speak for prices of course but this is great news for the coal industry. this cost advantages those who still use coal...and obviously only fools use natural gas to power their turbines. that is the ultimate in expensive and wasteful. coal's problem is wind...not this plan. currently we use 318 gigawatts of coal fired capacity. the potential for wind power is 3 times that and is being realized. with electricity consumption having collapsed in the USA in 2008 along with consumption of unleaded gasoline an entirely new energy paradigm has quickly emerged. Tesla's, Solar "cities" (suburbs really) with the wind at your back are the new reality. any dramatic increase in prices at the meter will quickly be met by "the blade." http://bit.ly/OKfUeF
    21 Sep 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Winds problem is no one likes seeing huge wind turbines..
    21 Sep 2013, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Stone Fox Capital
    , contributor
    Comments (6261) | Send Message
     
    kimi,
    Agree. The switch to NG all sounds good when prices are low, but just wait until prices surge from all of the increased demand that will come online without coordinating increased production.
    21 Sep 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3653) | Send Message
     
    Least of which are the raptor species. Not surprisingly this is another area where the corrupt child-King won't abide by the rule of Law and enforce federal law against his campaign contributors and political cronies.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fn1Z9m
    21 Sep 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • Val Halla
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
     
    on the Ocean...ironically true. But no, the big problem is that where a lot of the wind is "there isn't anything." in other words you have to lay new wire for a lot of these operations. that is expensive...and a regulatory hurdle i agree.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    Wind isnt a baseload technology. The greens can push solar and wind all they want, but we still need baseload power, and that comes from coal, nat gas, nukes, oil, or large hydro. No other way around it.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    @Mike, As long as battery and transmission technology remains inadequate the green tech will never be base load power.

     

    Just wanted to add that caveat as once/if transmission/battery tech gets significant improvements it is possible that green tech could be baseload.
    22 Sep 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    Just wait till the prices drop after more wells are drilled and the infrastructure is put in place to get NG from well to powerplant.
    22 Sep 2013, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    yeah those companies don't like making money ruffdog they'll just push the price to .50/mmbtu sounds like a good deal all around
    22 Sep 2013, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    Battery technology is still a long way away, and there's no technology I know of even being researched that is going to bring transmission costs (and losses) down enough to make installing wind turbines in Wyoming and transmitting the power to Cali cheaper than a CC nat gas plant would be.
    22 Sep 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    You could be right Mike, I'm not specifically aware either although I did read about transmissions upgrades being done in the NE... could have been structurally focused though and not energy efficient.
    22 Sep 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    A lot of the transmission upgrades I'm aware of are to reinforce things after the Hurricane Sandy damage, as well as to relieve some areas that are capacity constrained. Nothing I know if is going to drastically reduce transmission costs.
    22 Sep 2013, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4040) | Send Message
     
    Vis a vis energy storage, there's dozens of ways this is being implemented in real ways, including using compressed air (example: http://bit.ly/uT6il6). There isn't really an issue with energy storage.

     

    Transmission is a problem vis a vis wind and I won't speak to that. I will suggest that as products such as Boulder Electric's "vehicle to grid" http://aol.it/1dE3IFv come to market, and as the grid is enhanced by more grid connected private energy production, it'll no longer be an issue, but I'm sure that's a bit away.
    23 Sep 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    Interesting that the "likely losers" did not mention those who transport most coal...the railroads.

     

    Coal represents +/- 25% of the volume transported by the 2 rails I own (some or much or that being for export, and/or suitable for coking), and declining coal volume has been depressing these stocks for at least a couple quarters.

     

    I'm not making a call on the rails...only wondering if those who selected the losers above also considered and rejected including the rails...any thoughts?
    21 Sep 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Good point richjoy,

     

    Railroads stand to loose tons of volume and one of their biggest cash cows. Some of it will be recouped in the transport of oil of which there isn't enough pipelines to carry it all at this point.

     

    With every Coal power plant closing that has an impact on the railroads... so not only will miners be out of work, but a lot of rail road workers will be as well.
    21 Sep 2013, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (361) | Send Message
     
    That is a good point about coal and the rails.

     

    I would suggest that the natural gas which will supposedly replace coal will be moved around the country by rail as well.

     

    So it could be a "six of one, half a dozen of the other" situation.
    21 Sep 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Milhouse, can you point out any situation where natural gas is being railed in the US? I haven't heard of any... You would need to liquefy it just to make it economical I would think...
    21 Sep 2013, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • maybenot
    , contributor
    Comments (3988) | Send Message
     
    @ richjoy -- good point.

     

    Not sure which ones you own, but CNI seems to only receive around 7% Rev. from oil shipments (and these are being somewhat replaced according to S&P).

     

    Sigh...I wanted to buy some CNI recently around $93, but it did not work out. Seems a great RR. And still seems at around fair value currently. Love their EPS & Rev growth.

     

    Anyway, just my 2 pennies. And I figure you already know much of what I just typed. :)
    21 Sep 2013, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • Val Halla
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
     
    does move via truck. gas pipelines have a "leakage" problem as well. it's really hard to compete with "the juice." the American people have basically moved to where their can't be an energy crisis. how does this impact rails? right now the impact has been marginal because rails are uniquely interconnected with an industrial economy. so you have to ask yourself "how is production doing" and i would say quite well actually. (coal, corn, cars, chemicals, ethanol.) there is still some consumer demand left so container shipping has held up well. if railroads go "all electric" that would save them BILLIONS of dollars as well.
    21 Sep 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (361) | Send Message
     
    wigit,
    Here is a page which discusses it:

     

    http://bit.ly/1exUBca

     

    "In the meantime, other operations are underway that ship gas liquids, such as propane, in LPG railcars. The Rook Railyard, part of the Wheeling & Lake Erie RR (W&LE), grew in 2011 due to increased inbound shipments of frac sand and outbound shipments of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Tractor trailer loads of LPG are brought into the railyard and loaded onto railcars for shipment to markets outside the Pittsburgh area."

     

    Hope this helps.
    21 Sep 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Is propane and NG that comes from most fracking we talk about today the same thing?
    21 Sep 2013, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (361) | Send Message
     
    I don't know, I am not an expert on petroleum products.

     

    Regardless, both propane and NG are transported by rail in the United States, as evidenced by my link and quote.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3653) | Send Message
     
    Milhouse, not the same thing. Power plants aren't running on propane. You do know your average backyard grill is propane, because propane is easily compressed to a liquid without cooling? Have you ever seen a refrigeration unit running on a backyard grill to keep the propane liquefied?
    21 Sep 2013, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    @cincinnatus,

     

    That was the point I was getting too Milhouse's link and reference to propane = NG isn't accurate and thus irrelevant. NG is costly to liquefy which is part of the reason why companies are openly flaring tons of this stuff... its cheaper to burn off at extraction and take the liquid oil out by rail then it is to try and liquefy the NG.

     

    (in some cases obviously NG is being extracted and piped to distribution centers by some companies)
    21 Sep 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (361) | Send Message
     
    I think I see your point. I was misreading that and assuming that in their terminologies, "propane" and "liquefied petroleum gas" were two different things, and I now see that they were synonymous in the article I cited.

     

    I retract my earlier statements and reiterate to all that it is not a good idea to listen to me.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    nah you have made great points in other threads milhouse so keep on commenting!
    21 Sep 2013, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Richjoy,

     

    While these new regulations will push the price of coal down, its not clear that it will reduce the use of coal. Depending on the price drop, new plants might be cost effective and certainly old plants, that might have been shut down without this new rule, might be cost effective to keep open.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • WPSPIKER
    , contributor
    Comments (1158) | Send Message
     
    You were correct LNG= Liquified Natural Gas, LPG (Propane) is Liquified Petroleum Gas.
    Normally LNG is made from Natural Gas out of a dry type gas well, LPG is made at a oil refinery as a byproduct of turning crude oil into refined products such as gas/diesel fuels. Back in old days they flared off LPG as no one had a good use for it (at the refinery's.)

     

    Mark
    21 Sep 2013, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    The question was does NatGas (not liquid) get transported via rail. The answer is no.... in liquid form most definitely but as a gas there just isnt enough density/product to justify the use of tanker cars; from what I understand anyway... if someone with more expertise (i have some coal expertise basic NG/LNG knowledge, and railroad expertise) in NG flaring, transportation economics can speak up please do.
    21 Sep 2013, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    Pen -- I call to your attention the 1st and 2nd bullet points above:

     

    "Both critics and supporters of the new EPA draft regulations on CO2 emissions agree on one thing: This will be the final blow to many proposed coal plants.

     

    The truth is, U.S. coal generation already was in decline not because of climate regulations, but because of good ol' free-market capitalism; the boom in natural gas production has dramatically increased supplies, sent prices plummeting and prompted a shift away from coal."
    _________
    Thus Pen, unless you are taking a contrary position to the above, I expect upon reconsideration, you will agree the fact is--coal plants have been, and will continue to be in decline in the U.S.

     

    The proposed EPA regs for new coal plants (as reputed elsewhere) are to be very, very, tough, and compliance would be extremely costly (I've read the only technology presently meeting these new regs is in a small-scale experimental plant).
    ________________
    Moving on:

     

    There 4 types of coal...they are listed below by age from youngest to oldest, and their increased by carbon content (reduced moisture) and heating value):

     

    Lignite -- a.k.a. brown coal, more soil than coal, up to 45% moisture content, used in power plants. The theoretical heating value of coal is it's calorific value--lignite's value is <5 kw/kg.

     

    Subbituminous -- a.k.a. black coal, about 20-30% moisture content, used in power plants and for space heating (building heat). Heating value of about 5 - 6.8 kw/kg.

     

    Bituminous -- the most common coal, moisture content of <20%, used in generating electricity, making coke, and space heating. Heating value of about 6.8 - 9 kw/kg.

     

    ["Metallurgical coal" is bituminous that is heated without oxygen to produce "coke", which is almost 100% carbon. A ton of coal yields about 1400 pounds of coke, and about 1100 pounds of coke are needed to produce a ton of pig iron. Unfortunately, since the 1950s, steel production from pig iron has declined in the U.S. to the point that whereas steel production formerly consumed 25% of all coal mined in the U.S., it is now about 4%.]

     

    ["Steam coal" falls between bituminous and anthracite. Once used for locomotives. Used to heat water.]

     

    Anthracite -- hard, black, and lustrous. Low in sulfur, high in carbon (the highest ranking coal). Moisture content <less 15%. Anthracite accounts for about 1% of global coal reserves. China accounts for the majority of global production. The highest of 3 grades is used for metallurgical production. Heating value of about 9 kw/kg.

     

    Not all coals are present in equal amounts, nor are they found in all mines or all geographies, nor are they priced at equal value, nor are they in equal demand.

     

    IMO, the forward demand (and pricing) for coals vary by type for the coal producers. However, with respect to railroad revenues for the transportation of coal, it is likely metallurgical/coking coal might provide the greatest long-term carload demand, and thus revenue.

     

    The U.S. has exported coal to China, Europe, and other countries, and that coal has moved by ports chiefly by rail. However, coal exports are down, and forecast to decline further based upon pollution concerns.

     

    Exported coal to China has been used to power electrical generation and space heating. However, in recent years, increased pollution has become a major problem in large cities. Pollution abatement, combined with the new hydroelectric power plants on the Yangtze and other rivers, are likely to negatively impact U.S. coal exports for Chinese power generation and space heating.

     

    You may not know, China recently banned construction of coal-fired power plants in three key industrial regions around Beijing, Shanhai, and Guanghzou in an effort improve air quality. The action plan from the State Council, China’s Cabinet, also aims to cut coal’s share of the country’s total primary energy use to below 65% in 2017 and increase the share of nuclear power, natural gas and renewable energy.

     

    I do not yet know how to what degree this might affect CSX and NSC, the rails I own, but I expect it to be a negative influence on earnings...

     

    I welcome the opinions of others.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • marcladom
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    Propane may be a component of produced natural gas, including from wells that are 'fracked'. The pipeline quality natural gas used for home heating and cooking is pipeline gas. This same gas is also used for power generation.

     

    Propane (or LPG) is often a component of produced gas, and is a 'gas liquid'. Propane and heavier liquids are separated from natural gas and is also used as a fuel. At relatively low pressure, propane can be transported in trucks or containers (for uses including 'fuel for your home gas grill).

     

    Natural gas can be compressed (CNG) or with more energy input, liquified (LNG).
    22 Sep 2013, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Richjoy,

     

    Try reading what I wrote. First, I said that the new regs would make new plants uneconomic at current coal prices. BUT since new plants wouldn't come on line, that would drop the price of coal. And the LOWER coal price could easily make old plants that are slated to be shuttered cost effective to keep on line. I speculated as well that it was possible that coal prices COULD drop enough to make even new plants cost effective. Depends on what happens with new NG and oil plants, in part, and what that does to electric rates.
    23 Sep 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    Coal prices won't drop meaningfully lower for very long... most of us coal is already underwater or close to it... lower prices will mean bankruptcies and lower output. Even worse is that with US producers going out of business it might force some utilities to start importing coal...

     

    Perhaps Kinder Morgans building of an import terminal in VA wasn't such a blundered idea after all....
    23 Sep 2013, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    Pen -- I have re-read the news item, your comment, and mine.

     

    I honestly don't see that I mis-represented your comment, but is little to be gained by a re-hash...thus, I offer my apology for any mistaken offense.
    ___________________
    A related and post-comment item...today's WSJ includes an article on page 1 of the Money & Investing Section "U.S. Coal Vs the World".

     

    According to the WSJ, "the new regs make it almost unthinkable to build a new coal-fired power plant". Those plants have accounted for 90+% of coal consumption. Aside from the new regs, new coal-fired plants are unlikely because of increasing compensation from shale gas. Coal production fell 21% between 2007 and 2012.

     

    If one is considering an investment in coal companies, know that they have first tried $billions of acquisitions, and then increased exports...but neither is working. There's more, including references to coking coal, balance sheets, China, etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't get better for coal companies.

     

    This article goes to my original query regarding the railroads that carry coal from mines to power plants and ports (but does not mention them).
    23 Sep 2013, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    RIch,

     

    First, I tend to work under the assumption that government regulations will often have unintended consequences and are as likely to do the opposite of what their proponents want as they are to have the intended effect. So since the new regs aim to make all new power plants more costly, even though they make coal fired plants more expensive than other types, I think there is a good chance that they could make it so that older less efficient coal plants don't get taken off-line by making them a viable choice given electric rates and the prices of both natural gas and coal. Since the older plants are less efficient that the new plants that would be scrapped, this could have the result of having more coal used that is currently thought to be the future demand. This might not be a lot of help to coal producers because of lower pricing, but it would certainly help coal shippers.

     

    What I think will happen, despite all the cries of doom of the opponents and predicted rainbows and unicorns of the proponents is that if the new regs go into effect, those planning to build new plants will analyze how they effect their plans and likely most new coal plants and some of the NG plants will be canceled. Some new plants, mostly NG ones, will be scaled up or down or delayed. Existing older plants, that might originally have been scheduled to shut down will have their plans altered because of the new economics. That likely will see plants that would have closed before continuing. Depending on how all that effects fuel usage and electricity production, prices will shift. This will cause shifts in fuel production and possibly plant construction and usage and more changes in price. When all this shakes out, I am fairly certain there won't be as much decrease in coal usage as the proponents of these new rules wanted. It is also quite possible that it won't be as much as was likely without these new rules.
    24 Sep 2013, 06:49 AM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    Pen -- I gotta admit, I seriously appreciate those who do their own thinking.
    24 Sep 2013, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    I try to think what happens after the first order effects. These are all dynamic systems and not only will they respond to direct changes in inputs, but will then react to the reactions and so on.
    24 Sep 2013, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    ...and you might have strengthened your opinion with: The worst projected outcomes, once widely-accepted, result in reduced earnings projections and prices for the affected stocks...thereafter, the same news is not discounted twice.

     

    I'm perhaps more conservative than yourself; assuming your view were correct, my concern would be how long (years) it may take for the trough period to play-out and turn into a growth trajectory...and what potentially better/safer alternative opportunities may be available and passed up. Different strokes/different folks.
    24 Sep 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Richjoy,

     

    You are correct in that a lot of the price declines for some of this is already priced into coal companies and railroads and the earnings projections already likely reflect a situation worse than I think will occurr.

     

    However even though I think the amount of coal used won't actually change much because of these new regs, that doesn't mean I think all the coal companies will be okay. Many are on the edge, and even though I think the net effects wil be the same or a slightly larger amount of coal being produced, I think its likely that the less efficient producers will struggle and some might even go under. I am not long any coal companies and won't change because of the new regs.

     

    As for railroads, they too have been hit by the projections of lower coal, and I think they have mostly adjusted to transporting lower coal already, so if coal production doesn't drop or increases, they will likely benefit. That said, if some coal companies go under, especailly if they are clustered in location, this might be a problem for some railroads.
    24 Sep 2013, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • WPSPIKER
    , contributor
    Comments (1158) | Send Message
     
    I'm in agreement with PEN:

     

    Coal stocks (sold all my pos last week all for profit.) The shutdown looming and too much global government issues around MOST stocks @ this time. I will hold $ and NOT go short but be ready to buy back in in next few weeks after something good comes out such as 1 year delay in obamacare for EVERYONE and corrections to all the terrible legslation that has been coming out. IRAN issues could mean a BIG drop in energy pricing across the board not just Oil but in Coal Solar etc due to the costs coming down on the major physiological pricing in Gasoline/Oil prices. Get Gasoline back under 3/gallon (less likely with current administration) and just about everything could see a good pop up.

     

    I can also see a 10~15% drop from here in a matter of few weeks if/when nothing gets done on cliff/debt ceiling..

     

    Mark
    24 Sep 2013, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    Terrorists have NOTHING on Obama's extremists at the EPA.

     

    The American people MUST hold the EPA accountable for their economy-cripplingly, job-preventing actions!
    21 Sep 2013, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • The Patriot
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    Do a search for the latest on green energy in Germany and Spain.
    Not so good news. I do not believe that CO2 is a pollutant. If CO2
    is omitted from the list of pollutants, the new high tech coal plants
    are amazingly "clean" compared to the old plants. I agree with kmi,
    I think we will see a resurgence - at some point, of a new and improved coal plant.

     

    http://bit.ly/17DM6aQ
    21 Sep 2013, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • CanadaPhil
    , contributor
    Comments (81) | Send Message
     
    The case of Germany is totally different since they decided to abruptly opt out of nuclear power-plants, and as a result of being under-provisioned they turned to a massive reliance on coal. As for CO2, it is a scientific fact that it is a pollutant. If you arbitrarily strap pollutants from the list just because you do not believe in scientific evidence, then for sure most plants would look "amazingly clean".
    21 Sep 2013, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (323) | Send Message
     
    they are shutting down ng plants left and right.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • The Patriot
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    Agreed, that Germany is somewhat unique, but the US is following the same path. Again, it is not scientific fact that CO2 is a pollutant.
    CO2 was made a pollutant in April of 2007, by legal means. In March of 07, CO2 was not a pollutant.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Yes, and the legal argument that won the case was based on scientific fact.
    21 Sep 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (593) | Send Message
     
    "Yes, and the legal argument that won the case was based on scientific fact." - That is not true, but most of what Jake posts is untrue.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • Blue Horshoe love Anacot Steel
    , contributor
    Comments (284) | Send Message
     
    "As for Co2, it is a scientific fact that it is a pollutant..." The trees and plants in my yard would beg to differ...
    23 Sep 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • medzjohn
    , contributor
    Comments (265) | Send Message
     
    CO2 climate destruction is just one of the externalities of coal. Let's not be blind to the deaths caused by carcinogenic mercury in the water supply, or from the legion of serious lung diseases. The need to curtail coal mining and burning has long been recognized but has been blocked for decades by the political clout of stakeholders and politicians dedicated to the almighty buck. If it was up to the "free market" suicide by coal would go on forever. That is why I for one am thankful we have free citizens with the vision and will to protect future generations from short term political and economic expediency.
    21 Sep 2013, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • The Patriot
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    The theorized link between CO2 and global warming/ climate change is NOT proven - it is a COMPUTER MODEL based on assumptions and variables that are not proving to be true.
    I think its fair to say that "green energy" also has its own political and investor clout.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    The Patriot, when you dedicate your entire life to studying climate science and build your own climate model that disproves anthropogenic climate change, I will listen to you. Until then, pipe down.
    21 Sep 2013, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3653) | Send Message
     
    Jake, what you mean is when he dedicates his life to creating rigged climate models and manipulated data then you'll listen to him. Deal with reality - the science is a fraud and has been exposed as such. The liberal politicians are the only group still pushing this because there's no more grandiose tax scheme than taxing air. It's the ultimate wet dream for them.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • Val Halla
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
     
    actually carbon capture is a big right wing thing. here's the facility you've had a fortune spent on: http://bit.ly/18KdaYp so far we have nothing to show for it but "it's on track." it's a very interesting idea actually because CO2 is indeed quite a valuable gas.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3653) | Send Message
     
    Valhalla, who are you responding to? I don't see any mention of carbon capture. Carbon capture is an attempt to mitigate the fallout from the AGW fraud, it's not the cause of it.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • toomuchgas
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    Mercury was scrubbed from coal plants a while ago.
    21 Sep 2013, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • toomuchgas
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    One thing for sure those of us who have to heat our homes will pay and pay and pay. All despite evidence that the overall temperature of the earth hasn't risen in 17 years. (Yes carbon dioxide has increased but not temperature. Check the data)
    21 Sep 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (593) | Send Message
     
    Agreed, toomuchgas. I'm sure you understand that climate change\global warming is about control not science though.
    21 Sep 2013, 11:09 PM Reply Like
  • The Patriot
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    I have lived in the shadow of the largest coal fired plant in the US for 30 years. The power company has spent well over a billion dollars upgrading pollution controls. They have spent untold millions fighting lawyers for this claim and that and nothing has ever stuck. Every resource extracted from the earth does environmental damage including the ores and rare earths that go into the construction of solar panels, batteries, and wind mills. The mining of these elements is no worse than coal. The new plants with the proper pollution equipment are comparable to many heavy manufacturing plants.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (323) | Send Message
     
    Monster in chief has 3 more years. If you think coal is going away in 3 years, look at EU and UK. You will get better picture.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    Isn't he spending $Bs of our money developing "clean" coal powerplants?
    22 Sep 2013, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • richard48
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
     
    The population of China and India is growing. Growing populations use more energy. Those two countries will import more coal every year over the prior year. The handwriting is on the wall. Wages are going up and with increased wages people purchase televisions, refrigerators, etc. These burn electricity.
    While the U.S. will use less coal each year, there is going to be a larger demand from China and India.
    I see coal mining increasing in the U.S. as soon as a few more facilities are built to export more of it.
    Price will be impacted for 3-5 years just as it will be for natural gas. Then the price of both commodities is going up as they ship it overseas.
    21 Sep 2013, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    Democrats will win the White House again in 2014, but the rules won't hurt coal very much. It's too much of a global commodity and an expanding middle class in China will offset any destruction Republicans do to the American middle class.
    21 Sep 2013, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    "Democrats will win the White House again in 2014"

     

    Nope, that won't happen. Not least because there isn't a Presidential race in 2014.
    21 Sep 2013, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (593) | Send Message
     
    You have to give Jake a pass - he's a low information voter.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    I about peed my pants when I read "Democrats will win the White House again in 2014"

     

    I'm sure it was just a typo but nonetheless hilarious if only the Dems had to defend themselves so soon.
    21 Sep 2013, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • Tactical111
    , contributor
    Comments (192) | Send Message
     
    Watch the documentary "Global Warming or Global Government?" and see the PhD Climatologists debunk the myth that CO2 is a "pollutant". If you still think it is do us all a favor and stop exhaling it.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    lol yup if CO2 is so bad for the earth mine as well organize a mass suicide... although our decaying bodies will also release pollutants... maybe we should all take that one way trip to Mars
    21 Sep 2013, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • RWMostow
    , contributor
    Comments (1423) | Send Message
     
    Wigit-

     

    Your suggestion might work. Didn't NASA just announce that they could not find any methane on Mars - hence no possibility of life - past or present?

     

    Now, think of all the methane generated by vast quantities of decomposing bodies (on Mars)!

     

    Two problems solved in one brilliant Wigit suggestion!

     

    -;)

     

    -rwm
    21 Sep 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    lol epic
    21 Sep 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • JMstocks75
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    ask japan if they wished those reactor were burning coal? nuke waste, were we going to put it, do you want west virigina to be unemployed, gov wallstreet cronies will buy up coal at the bottom, then pass laws to boost output, ACI back to 25$ IN 18 MONTHS, that is how much stay super rich,
    23 Sep 2013, 12:49 AM Reply Like
  • Engineer&Far
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    Wouldn't it be great if coal could be converted into ethanol (liquid)? That would help with shipping via pipelines, corn crop usage for food instead of fuel, jobs for coal miners and chemical plant operators, energy self sufficiency (Middle East - &*&^% Off), air pollution (liquids are cleaner burning than solids, gases are best) and I'm sure many other factors I haven't thought of. It can, Google it, and be amazed at how stupidly run this country is. Oh the shame....
    24 Sep 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4118) | Send Message
     
    There are several CTL (coal to liquids) possibilities but the economics are tough currently... I know one big CTL plant was supposed to be built in WV but it got put on hold I think due to capital/end product pricing.
    24 Sep 2013, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    "Wouldn't it be great if coal could be converted into ethanol (liquid)?"

     

    It can be. Not sure how economical that might be though.
    24 Sep 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • richjoy403
    , contributor
    Comments (9588) | Send Message
     
    I'm certain I will be corrected if I am factually incorrect...as I recall, the Germans first converted coal to liquid fuel in WWII. Thereafter, South Africa did likewise during their apartheid days that resulted in embargo of fuel among other items.

     

    Presently, I believe Statoil has furthered the technology.
    24 Sep 2013, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Given that the Germans in WW2 and the South African's were in the position of having lots of coal and not much oil or other liquid fuel, it makes sense they would do it no matter the cost.
    24 Sep 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • Engineer&Far
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    News....CE claims on Wikipedia that they can produce ethanol from any hydrocarbon (including coal) for $1.50 to $1.70 per gallon. Seems economical to some folks. Celanese is building plants in Indonesia, China and Texas...using their TCX (?) technology. Under current Federal law, gasoline additive ethanol MUST be made from corn...hmmm. Whether its graft/corruption or just plain 'stupid', the shame of living under the Dumb & Dumber ruling class (ie lawyers, bankers, union thugs...) requires mental separation from our politics...
    25 Sep 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Wikipedia? Seroiusly?
    27 Sep 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • Engineer&Far
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    Indonesia and China are building plants to "lose money"?????
    27 Sep 2013, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • PendragonY
    , contributor
    Comments (6819) | Send Message
     
    Well, actually they certainly might be doing so especially on a pilot project basis. But my point was the weakness of using Wikipedia as a source of current events.

     

    Looking at the Celanese TCX website, its clear that they don't yet have commercial production. Yes, they have had good success with their pilot programs and the TCX does build on technology that they have been using and developing for 30 years, but this still doesn't make it a sure thing, just a very good bet.
    28 Sep 2013, 08:35 AM Reply Like
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