Coal's Ascendancy May Leave Ailing U.S. Miners in Pit
From Slate Articles
December 28, 2012 - 11:01am
Coal’s ascendancy looks set to leave already ailing U.S. miners stuck in a pit. Within five years, the black rock is likely to replace oil as the world’s top energy source, according to the International Energy Agency. That should be good news for America’s miners, which are sitting on 28 percent of the planet’s coal. But they’re ill placed to do well from the boom.
America’s reserves equate to several hundred years of the nation’s current coal consumption. They’re also about 50 percent larger than Russia’s, which has the second-largest set of seams. Combined, the two countries burn about 1.2 billion tonnes of King Coal a year, equivalent to the 16 percent increase in global consumption the IEA expects by 2017.
America’s coal industry is being left out of the party, however. It’s already hurting. Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal lost close to half their market ...
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