There is no doubt that the coal industry has problems. Prices are lower than they were a few years ago. At the same time less coal is being used for generating electricity. The over-dramatic term ‘War on Coal’ has been used to describe this situation. If there is a war, there is an enemy – and coal’s enemy is natural gas. In Ohio, about 85% of coal’s loss of tonnage supplied to power plants is due to natural gas. Renewables provide less two percent of Ohio’s electricity and they hardly consist of a threat.
COAL PRICE: After rising to a high above $80 per ton in 2011, coal prices have mostly been between $50 and $60 for the past two years (infomine.com).
ELECTRICITY GENERATION BY COAL: NATIONAL – Use of coal by electric power plants has decreased by almost 20% over the past ten years (LLL, Estimated U.S. Energy Use, issued annually). OHIO – the percentage loss is almost as great over the past five years (EIA, Electric Power Monthly, February issue each year).