Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Coal's Doubters Block New Wave Of Power Plants

A very good overview by Rebecca Smith on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
It serves Climateer Investing's purposes as a follow-up and exposition of yesterday's post on John Hill's across the board downgrade of the coal group.

From the WSJ:
...If significant numbers of new coal plants don't get built in the U.S. in coming years, it will put pressure on officials to clear the path for other power sources, including nuclear power, or trim the nation's electricity demand, which is expected to grow 1.8% this year. In a time of rising energy costs, officials also worry about the long-term consequences of their decisions, including higher prices or the potential for shortages.

...That puts the focus on natural gas. "Gas is the bridge fuel" that will step in if coal stumbles, says Marc Spitzer, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regulator of the nation's wholesale gas and electricity markets.

Currently, clean-burning gas provides roughly a fifth of the nation's power needs. But the nation's gas production has been flat, and other industries are increasingly using it as a fuel or raw material. Mr. Spitzer says that the nation needs more facilities to accept liquefied natural gas, which is gas cooled into a liquid that can be imported from overseas.

There it is. I set the text color as black as blogger allows.