Coal is going to be the most talked-about commodity on earth in the coming months. We are used to heavy duty crude prices. And oil speculators are now puling back because the value of the dollar is so low and could go lower. Gold seems to have hit a plateau. After all, how long has it been since you called your dealer and ordered a tank full of gold, or another ton of it for your furnace? But coal? Without coal the American elelctricity grid goes to brown outs.
Coal prices have risen FASTER THAN OIL over the past six months. China's use of coal has been growing at about 10% per annum. Despite a huge trade surplus and cash aplenty, even China's having trouble with supply. Vietnam is a coal exporter and they're cranking up prices to China. JUST SAY NO
Kansas's governor today vetoed a bill that would have pushed ahead the construction of two new coal-fired electricity generation plants there. And that's not the only state wrestling with the lure of coal-based energy and the concerns over climate change and the inevitable by-products of burning coal.
How much coal do we have? There are skeptcis who say not nearly enough. Wikipedia has a pretty deep set of numbers on what's often accepted as current known reserves. Keep in mind all recent estimates of coal supply and demand are out-dated almost as oon as they are caluclated because of the rapid expansion of the Chinese use of coal.