As I have written about before in my article about the upcoming election in Kentucky, I’m pretty bearish on coal. I think it’s bad for the environment, bad for workers health, and bad for the economy. My grandfather was a coal miner immigrant, and while I’m sure he was grateful to have a job, his health suffered greatly because of it. He ended up hurting his back in a terrible accident and had to go on disability for the rest of his life. That has always left a bad taste in my mouth with regards to the coal industry.
So, I can’t say that I am all that disappointed to see Cloud Peak Energy’s (NYSE:CLD) stock price where it is. As a major producer of coal, they serve as a bellwether for the industry.
There are still tons of special interest groups and big time, old money companies that are pushing to raise coal’s stock, but it appears to be in vain. Coal appears to be a dinosaur, at least in it’s current incarnation. If a thoughtful, forward thinking executive tries to use the coal in different ways, maybe it can be saved. Only time will tell.
So, while it’s a big business at the moment, it appears that it’s time has come. Horse and buggies were big business at one point, too.