Full Title: Why the Coal Industry Should Embrace a Carbon Tax
Author(s): Niskanen Center
Publisher(s): Niskanen Center
Publication Date: 01/2016
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The coal industry is in an economic free-fall due to low-cost natural gas and an incoming wave of steep environmental regulatory costs. Evidence of coal’s trouble can be found in its declining share of the electricity market, plant and mine shutdowns, corporate earnings, debt-to-equity ratios, an impending federal leasing moratorium, and dramatic declines in stock prices. Corporate asset values are premised upon implausible assumptions about future coal demand in a carbon-constrained world. Claims that exports will save the industry are highly dubious. Political campaigns to slow down the regulatory onslaught have some prospect for success, but at best, they only borrow time. Reversing environmental regulatory activity holds a near-zero chance of success.