Now that the price of coal is at a historic low relative to oil, there's no stopping consumers and producers alike from embracing Al Gore's nightmare.
A ton of U.S. coal is so cheap at about $47 (U.S.) that European utilities will pay $50 to ship it across the Atlantic, according to Galbraith's Ltd., a 263-year-old London shipbroker. While oil and coal cost the same as recently as 1998, West Texas Intermediate crude is now five times more expensive after climbing to more than $90 a barrel.
Peabody Energy Corp., Consol Energy Inc. and Arch Coal Inc., the three biggest U.S. coal companies, forecast the largest increase in exports in 20 years, degrading the call for a moratorium on coal plants by former U.S. vice-president and this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore. Coal use worldwide has grown 27 per cent since 2002, three times faster than crude, said BP PLC. U.S. East Coast coal has risen 71 per cent, while oil tripled on the New York Mercantile Exchange....MORE