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RE: New Rules Limit Coal Plants Force switch NG

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Charles Randall

New Rules limit Coal Plants now in place – just Latest back door attempt Obama/EPA put Cap-n-trade / Greenhouse type regulations in place by bypassing Congress and American people.
They never learn – there just isn’t enough NG in US to replace any sizeable switch of Coal power to Nat Gas. They are looking at short term blows to NG market price caused by previous shortsided moves like this & trying make it future position move.
The current 10-15% increase in NG production due shale gas fracking has taken NG price back to pre-deregulated price levels of $2.50/MMBTU because the huge drop in demand after 2008 was result of destroying one of its 5th largest demand consumers (fertilizer industry) that didn’t survive the price spike from $6/MMBTU to $8-10/MMBTU. US went from Fertilizer exporting producer @ $100/ton to Fertilizer consuming importer @ $300/ton because all but Petcoke/coal/Refinery gas producers went bankrupt/closed plants. The price spike was caused by Large number of Independent Power Producers driven to switch to Nat Gas (led by California whose Pacific Northwest Power Crisis caused by huge shortfall in Hydro power due Upper Northwest lack snowfall). There just isn’t and never will be enough NG to supply any sizeable switch of Coal Power without major price spike and resulting destruction of another Manufacturing demand consumer. Last time spike closed ~all the PNW Aluminum Smelters & curtailed a sizeable capacity in US due power cost. Currently Alcoa has already cut 14% capacity due global market surplus/decrease profitibality. Natural Gas power cost a lot more than Coal Fired power and both are significantly above Hydropower and existing Nuclear power cost.
When the US loses a major aluminum smelter it knocks out ~50% demand base for nearby power plant supplying it.
Any attempts to switch US Power from Coal to NG is going result in another round of Industry demand destruction and loss manufacturing plants / jobs and price spike in both wholesale and residential power cost.

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