Monday, June 06, 2005
On this day:

An Old Energy Alternative: Coal

High natural gas and oil prices is fueling a resurgence in Alabama's coal industry, with local companies building new mines and reactivating old ones.

The reason for the new "coal rush" amounts to simple economics. A 2004 article in the Christian Science Monitor says, "Low-cost, low-emission, natural-gas turbines sprouted like mushrooms in the '90s and their contribution to the nation's generating capacity reached 19 percent. But in the past four years, the cost of natural gas has roughly tripled: from $2 per 1 million British thermal units of heat generated to over $6 per million BTUs. By contrast, coal costs less than $1 per million BTUs." As a result, at least 94 new coal-fired plants were being planned in the U.S. at the time the article was written.