Government policies and low natural gas prices have led to significant switchovers among utilities from coal to more cost-effective natural gas. Up to 20% of total coal-fired power generation is scheduled to be taken offline by 2017. This retracement has massively negative implications for the coal industry, which is why companies here have been concentrating so heavily on exports lately. China and India are leading the charge in the East, and Europe is holding its own because of the reverse dynamic there, with natural gas being more highly priced. Coal companies with the ability to export are therefore likely to stand apart from the pack.

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