Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Coal Costs Climbing: Cruel or Crucial?

Renewable energy zealots (hmmm, does that describe anyone I know?) have long hoped for a day when rising prices for carbon-based fuels will prime the pump for new, but comparatively expensive energy sources. Well guess what? ... that day has come. In fact, it came last year when you were out. According to some experts, oil, having reached $100 a barrel, has liked what it's seen and won't be going back to double digits soon ... or ever.

Well, at least there's coal you were going to say. There's tons of it (no pun intended) and the US has a Saudi-like portion all to itself. And the good thing about coal is that it's always been cheap, and always will be cheap. Unfortunately, that last statement is only half right. Those self same experts reporting on oil prices in the WSJ have an increasingly similar tale to tell about coal: demand is higher than supply and that, among other things, is making it expensive as well.

Right about now we sure could use some good old fashioned cold fusion.