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General · 19th October 2012
Barry Saxifrage
The bigger they come, the harder the fall.

Just a few years ago coal was king in the USA. Bold, multi-billion dollar expansion plans called for more than 150 new coal power plants to be built. Now everything has changed.

A terrific series of articles by the Sightline Institute has tracked the popping of America's coal bubble. Demand has fallen off a cliff. Coal plants are being cancelled and shuttered. Mines are closing. Bond ratings are tumbling. Stock prices for many major US coal companies have plunged 60 to 80 percent in less than two years. Many coal companies now struggle to stay solvent under the huge debt load they piled on when endless expansion was the only accepted narrative.

How much farther could USA coal fall? All the way to bankruptcy, according to a new study by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). That study shows that if the US adopts even a modest and slowly rising price on climate pollution then the industry would effectively shut down.

(note: this is just an excerpt from my full article published on the Vancouver Observer. Please click the link below to read the full article.)