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Will 2015 See A Rally In Coal?

2014 was, on the surface, a good year for those of an environmentally conscious bent. Under pressure from developed nations, two large emerging economies, India and China, both made some commitment to a reduction of greenhouse gasses and laid out plans to increase the use of renewable energy sources. That, combined with falling oil prices, put enormous pressure on the coal industry, already burdened with increased regulation in the world’s major economies. That drop in oil and coal prices, however, may set up a year that will see significant gains in coal in 2015.

It is, of course, hard, if not impossible to be bullish on coal in the long term. Despite the industry’s best efforts to market “clean coal”, coal is still seen as the dirtiest, most environmentally harmful fuel, and the shift away from it as an energy source looks set to continue in the next couple of decades. In the short term, however, it is starting to look as if twenty or so years of decline are already priced into stocks, and there is reason to believe that the pace of that decline at least will slow in the coming months.

Let’s face it, not many of us who live in the real world believe that India and China’s actions are based on a purely altruistic concern for the environment. Faced earlier this year with a U.S. administration that was seeking some cooperation and with seemingly intractably high fossil fuel prices, planning to reduce dependence on oil and coal…

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