Coal Plants Not Worried Yet After Obama Speech

While President Obama’s climate speech this week didn’t spell out any great news for the coal industry, one big player in the field tells FBN’s Jeff Flock that it could have been a whole lot worse.

Standing in front of Midwest Generation, one of the country’s 1,142 coal-fired plants, Flock says coal companies are taking comfort in the fact that no new regulations will be coming down the pike for at least two years.

“Essentially, the coal industry gets two years where they know there won’t be any regulation of carbon,” says Flock.

This is good news to Midwest Generation, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012. Flock reports Midwest says any new regulations could shut the coal plants down. The company has already shuttered two plants in Chicago, but Flock says the Joliet plant is still potentially viable.

Flock also notes stock prices for publicly traded coal companies, like Edison International (which owns Midwest Generation), Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, all bounced back slightly following President Obama’s speech.