The Associated Press is reporting that coal stocks are dropping sharply today, on the expectation of tougher going for coal companies in a second term for President Obama. The AP reports that a series of environmental regulations proposed by the Obama administration could reduce the nation's use of coal.
James River Coal Company was among the biggest decliners in early trading Wednesday. The company announced a larger than expected loss in the third quarter and its shares dropped by more than 22%. Peabody Coal shares were down more than 9 % and Arch Coal's shares were 11% lower.
Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed tighter limits on sulfur dioxide, mercury, and other pollutants that would make it more expensive for utilities to burn coal. The EPA has also proposed
putting limits on the amount of carbon dioxide new power plants would be allowed to emit. Some experts in the field say it would be nearly impossible to build an affordable new coal plant that would meet the EPA limits.