The coal industry is so totally screwed

Grist

The American coal industry is terminally ill — and that should serve as a warning to investors who might be tempted to put their money into other fossil fuels.

That’s the gist of a new report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative, which warns that oil and natural gas could also wind up becoming stranded assets — property that under other scenarios could be worth a lot of money, but not in the real situation we face as the climate warms and the market shifts in response.

Coal use has been decoupled from America’s economic growth for a number of reasons, the report finds. The biggest is the availability of other cheap sources of energy — since 2008, the abundance of shale gas from America’s fracking boom has played a big role in driving that trend, but so have renewable energies like solar and wind. Increasingly strict regulations on air pollution…

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