Count me among those rejoicing:
Citigroup analyst John Hill downgraded coal company stocks across the board in a report this week, saying that expected U.S. greenhouse gas regulations on coal, which emits more of the main heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide than any other fuel, paint a bleak outlook for the sector.
Downward pressure on stock prices by a current U.S. coal oversupply could last for more than a year, he wrote. If that happens it could coincide with 2008 presidential campaign politics, in which a national plan to limit greenhouse emissions is expected to figure prominently.
“Election politics are likely to turn progressively more bestial for coal,” Hill wrote. Candidates from both major parties favor putting national limits on greenhouse gases.
“Prophesies of a new wave of coal-fired generation have vaporized,” Hill wrote. And technology to capture and bury CO2 at power plants may play a role in coming years, but remains expensive and elusive.
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer industry.