'Dirty' coal getting reprieve on Wall Street

March 17, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana and other Rust Belt states have taken a beating over their power plant emissions, but Wall Street is betting coal will win out over some alternative energies in the near term.

Bloomberg News reports that coal stocks are rising while shares of solar-panel companies are falling. The article says the Stowe Global Coal Index, which tracks 38 producers, logged a small gain last year while Bloomberg’s Global Leaders Solar index dropped.

A big majority of analysts who follow Peabody Energy Corp., a St. Louis coal company that operates mines in southwestern Indiana, have “buy” ratings on the stock.

Far fewer analysts who follow Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar Inc., the largest manufacturer of thin-film solar panels, advise buying that stock. (Incidentally, First Solar CEO Rob Gillette holds a finance degree from Indiana University.)

Why are “dirty” coal stocks rising so fast? Perhaps because governments aren’t throwing enough support behind renewable energy, or because rising international competition is crushing solar-panel profits. Failed talks in Copenhagen to limit carbon emissions is another reason.

If coal gets a breather, Indiana might have a chance to build more “clean-coal” power plants like the $2.4 billion gasification project Duke Energy is considering at Edwardsport in southwestern Indiana. Gov. Mitch Daniels and members of his administration have said the state has little realistic choice but to find ways to use its cheap, abundant coal; otherwise, a competitive advantage of cheap electricity will be lost.

How do you feel about coal? Should Indiana bet its future on the mineral?

What about overall progress on wind, solar and other alternative energy? Is it coming fast enough?


  • "Cheap"
    "Cheap"? What do we sacrifice for so-called "cheap" energy provided by coal? Our health and our environment, as well as those of other states that are downwind. Anything we may be "saving" in energy costs we are paying out the wazoo for in various other ways, including illnesses, heathcare costs, lost productivity, and in perpetuating a perception of being a 'backward' state. Hoosiers need to kick the habit of short-sighted tunnel vision more than anything!
  • Utility Regulations
    Utility companies obviously need to be mandated to spend x% of their budget towards creating Alternative Power Investments for the safety of our Country. This is why we call our State Agency, Energy and DEFENSE. The Utility co. are not doing it on their own. Unfortunately our Government is not working for us the people any more, but for the big business and the Utility Companies, otherwise the leaderships would be coming from our local Govâ??t. We need balanced growth patterns, not just out growth. This proven mismanagement is creating even more expense and we need to see Leadership from our State and Cities, creating long term sustainability with reinvestment Pilot Programs for Smart Growth. Via States and Utility Company's partnering together we can make a major impact for generation to come but only with their proactive leadership now. The model of just having one way to do it creates the out growth, and this just cost us too much! We need leaders that can do more than, â??What they have always done, via 8th grade mathâ??. By spending a little on the right things, The Multiplier Effects of Savings and other ways to Make Money is the only way to reduce Gov't. spending. This is Govâ??t being fiscally responsible. Unfortunately the Old School Republicans have not done the math or figured this out yet. It is making me an unhappy republican, but frankly we need smart people managing our Govâ??t reinvesting into more than one old way to do it.
    For our countryâ??s safety, for economic sustainability for all of us, we need Alternatives Sources of Power. Via Loans, Tax Credits, & Grants, Via the Leadership of our States Energy & Defense and the Utility Company's we need Solar Equipment and Utility Co. Net Metering Investments so we can rebuild our core communities, and Country.

  • Check your Facts
    The fuel may be "cheap" but the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission estimates that the plant is expected to have a total estimated average customer rate impact (increase) of about 18 percent.

    Not sure Indiana would not be better off diversifying with other fuel types, renewable or otherwise.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.