On Fox Business, of all places, a ‘coal is dead’ pronouncement

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A commentary posted the other day on Fool.com proclaiming the death of the U.S. coal industry has found its way—lo and behold—onto FoxBusiness.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Sanzillo-041615-imag-453x300A commentary posted the other day on Fool.com proclaiming the death of the U.S. coal industry has found its way—lo and behold—onto FoxBusiness.com.

Fox Business, of course, is an arm of Fox News, the frequently mindless defender of big business, not to mention the media poster child for any range of right-wing silliness that includes climate-change denial, misguided rage at President Obama and the EPA, rabid demonization of environmentalists and so on. Fox and its many all too well known commentators for years have promoted a drill-anywhere, dig-anywhere, pollute-anywhere point of view.

That’s why the appearance under the Fox rubric of the Fool.com commentary (Fool.com is the URL of the Motley Fool, the popular investing web site that promises to “Educate, Amuse & Enrich”), is notable. Titled “Coal Is Dead: It’s Time to Accept It,” the column prematurely declares the demise of the industry, which in truth is a long way from dead just yet, but it does offer some insight into the very difficult straits facing coal producers.

Here’s an especially astute passage:

“The big problem for coal isn’t regulation, it’s competition. Coal supporters like to blame regulation for coal’s current demand problems. That’s part of the problem, but the bigger problem is competition. As coal plants age, it is now more cost-effective to build natural gas plants, wind, and even solar power plants to replace them.”

Bingo. The real culprit isn’t the Obama administration. It’s not Big Green, regulators or crazed mine inspectors. It’s competition, plain and simple, and it’s global in scope.

The commentary explains the investment case against coal, which is no longer a cost-efficient source of energy, having handed that mantle to wind and solar, and it warns investors off coal stocks that include Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources. It goes so far as to recommend stock picks in the solar-energy sector, an unexpected piece of advice, to say the least, on a site affiliated with Fox News. Incidentally, Sun Power and Sun Edison, two of the big U.S. solar companies, are headquartered in California, the state Fox loves to hate.

The overarching truth about coal is that the world’s biggest and fastest-growing countries, most notably China and India, are turning away from it because coal is such a drag on their economies. It is a barrier to livable cities, its production ultimately destroys so much of the natural-resource base, it is weighed down by technological lethargy, it is saddled by financial challenges, and it is having to absorb the increasingly high cost of public opposition. China and India today, in short, are acknowledging these risks.

It is only fair to add, as the Fool.com commentary does, that the coal industry has promised a turnaround time and again—someday, any day now—but quarter after quarter the red ink rises. . Industry leadership has broken its word for the last time according to the Fool, as they continue to undermine their credibility and abdicate investor trust.

That said, I’m not counting the industry out just yet. It is shrinking, yes, it has limited upside potential, and it is a poor investment. But coal producers are a scrappy bunch, even if they continue to draw horrific publicity that wards off investment dollars and diminishes public support.


Source: IEEFA. Reproduced with permission.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  1. Chris Meyers 4 years ago

    So what exactly is the point of this useless article? What a bunch of lazyass writers on this site. Your ‘story’ is basically a reprint of a Motley Fool story that was already referenced on Fox Business? LOL So you thought hey Ill say it again for a third time in a third article because Im too stupid to write anything of substance myself? Oh and of course peppered with little bits of opinion nonsense between the quotes. Of course.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      ➧➧✥➧➧✥I RECEIVED FIRST DRAFT OF $13000!@ak36:



    • Steve159 4 years ago

      Hi Tom

      Thanks for this article — I don’t read or watch Fox media, so it’s welcomed and appreciated that you’ve sourced this article — who would have thought.

      But as you rightly point out, it’s pure and simple competition that has doomed coal.

      bye bye coal.

    • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

      RE often reproduces articles from other sources. With appropriate permission and attribution, of course.

  2. john 4 years ago

    Actually fool.com has been saying for quiet a while that coal is in trouble.
    Well it is supposed to be an investment advice site, so it has to deliver truthful information not like Fox which is frankly a fear feeding company that preys on simple people and has a very successful business plan.

Comments are closed.