Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Election 2012: Implications for Coal and Natural Gas

The reelection of President Obama has already sent a message that is impacting the coal industry and it is likely that investors will be more wary of natural gas pending a review. Well ahead of more stringent regulations on the coal industry investors are already seeing the writing on the wall and divesting from this dirty source of energy.

As reviewed in the Washington Post, coal's stock valuations have been directly impacted by Obama's reelection. On the day after the election, shares of Peabody Energy fell 9.6 percent, Arch Coal plunged 12.5 percent, Consol Energy dropped 6.1 percent, and Alpha Natural Resources sank 12.2 percent.

Coal plants will be impacted by the EPA's restrictions on soot emissions from utilities which would tighten the annual exposure to fine-particle soot from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Within the next few months, the EPA will probably finalize the first carbon standard for new power plants, which will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced. Coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.

Although the average natural gas plant in the US emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour, the EPA is also studying the environmental impact of hydrolic fracking, which will likely result in new federal standards.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Posts
Election 2012: A Mandate for Action on Climate Change
The 2012 Election Saw the Rise of Environmentalists as a Political Force
Republicans Need a Serious Policy Review
Hopes for Environmental Action in President Obama's Second Term
President Obama's Victory Speech: "The Best is Yet to Come"
A Vote for Obama is a Vote for Survival
The State of Government Sustainability Efforts
What is ESG and Why is it Important
How Governments can Show Support for Cleantech

No comments: