CNN headline story currently has a woman from coal country lamenting that if President Obama is reelected, it’s the end of the industry.
Fact is that fracking will do more to end the coal industry than anything Obama is doing (which is basically calling for improved emissions at power generating facilities). Fracking for natural gas has brought gas prices down so low it’s cost effective to use natural gas instead of coal, and coal mines are going out of business because they can’t compete and their demand has dried up.
That natural gas also happens to be less polluting and is more energy efficient than coal at point of power production doesn’t help coal. And where Appalachia and other coal-reliant regions are suffering, there’s a boom in the fracking country - Baaken Shale and Marcellus Shale regions for instance.
But, as a headline grabber, it’s so much easier to say Obama is killing coal. The economics suggest something else at play.