Coal prices tank

Coal prices have fallen 8 percent to as much as 20 percent this year, a victim of low-cost US natural gas, falling demand from formerly heavy users such as China, and the shift to renewable energy sparked by falling hardware prices. At the same time, coal-burning utility plants in the US had stockpiled a whopping 168 million tons as of April. As a result, the US Energy Information Administration expects US coal production to drop 75 million tons this year and remain flat in 2016 as low prices render many coal-mining operations unprofitable.

TRENDPOST: This is likely the beginning of coal’s permanent decline across North America as more American utilities shift to cleaner, cost-competitive natural gas, reducing demand for coal even more.

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