Coal stocks popped in morning trading on October 4, and Mitt Romney might be able to take credit.
During a discussion on energy policies at the presidential debate on October 3, Romney said, “I like coal. I’m going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal.” Romney’s economic plan calls for North American energy independence by 2020, which translates as advocacy for coal. This is a good break for an industry that has had a rough 2012.
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Natural gas prices dropped this year, adding pressure to the coal industry. Data released from the United States Energy Department suggests that during the first half of 2012, natural gas use by power companies increased 32 percent while coal use dropped by 18 percent.
Romney told President Barrack Obama at the debate, “People in the coal industry feel like it’s getting crushed by your policies.”
Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) are also all up. Coal stocks have been getting hit with the short stick for a while, but a Romney presidency could turn positions around.