That’s good news for Kentucky coal which was hit hard last year – not only by Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency, but also by increased competition from natural gas due to technological breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing. As the price of natural gas rebounds, Kentucky coal will become more competitive as an energy source for power plants in the region.
We’ve previously reported that coal is set to become the number one source of energy over the next five years due to increases in international demand. Now with projections of natural gas prices on the rise, domestic demand could also rise.
And this is precisely why those who claim the EPA’s newest draconian regulations aren’t affecting Kentucky’s energy sector are in the wrong. Just because 2012 saw coal take a hit from natural gas doesn’t mean that last year’s market conditions will be the status quo for long. As we’re now seeing, market conditions are shifting – even domestically – and such market shifts call for resources to be diverted toward our coalfields. However, with the EPA mandating 2012’s conditions remain the status quo for years to come, this unfortunately may not be possible.
Although the market is turning in favor of coal, the EPA has tied an anchor to what might be an economic boom for Appalachia. Let’s hope the EPA allows Kentuckians to unleash the power found beneath our soil.