This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Old King Coal Heads to Retirement Home

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Disposing of a coal plant isn't as simple as taking out the trash.

It's a new era of eliminating coal power, with a new federal rule ensuring the demise of many coal plants across the United States.

Opponents of the coal and utility lobby got their biggest victory in recent history in December, when the Environmental Protection Agency implemented a new rule for power plant standards that will make many existing coal plants obsolete. It marked the end of a 22-year battle in Washington D.C.

Utilities have been preparing for this day, but haven't quite figured out how to deal with the death of a coal plant.

Most utilities have decided it would be too costly to upgrade aging coal plants to the new EPA standards, and will look to convert them to other fuel sources like natural gas, idle or even demolish the plants going into retirement.

The utilities will also look to sell the coal plants, possibly piece by piece, wherever there is value to be derived from a turbine or steel rebar. The industry is still working out other sale methods as well, and that's where the story could get interesting.

The prospect of coal plant sales raises the issue of exporting pollution to other countries, while cutting down on it domestically. Global warming knows no geographic boundaries: The benefits to human health from the coal plant retirement in the U.S. would remain, though the global warming dimensions of the victory over coal would be diminished should the idled coal plants be revived on the horizon of other polluting skies.

Is it possible to export pollution by moving a coal plant, lock, stock and barrel to another country? It would seem unlikely, according to utility industry experts and executives at the utilities now charged with disposing of the legacy coal plants. However, corporate auction officials engaged in the still-evolving era of coal plant sales see some potential in an overseas market for the U.S. coal castoffs.

One trend is clear, though: Something has to be done with all of the coal plants that are no longer viable as U.S. energy assets, and demolition won't always be the option.
1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AEP $54.23 0.00%
D $67.90 0.00%
DUK $72.53 0.00%
AAPL $126.44 0.00%
FB $87.28 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs