Natural gas has become the coal industry's arch-nemesis, thanks to record production and relatively cheap prices. Fortunately for a few companies, this trend has had a negative impact only on the domestic thermal coal market. Export markets for both metallurgical and thermal coal still have promise. 

That's why Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) is certainly one of the better picks in an industry that has a murky future. It has a diverse asset base in terms of both geography and product type. Much like larger peer Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), Alpha Natural holds the keys to cheap mines in the Powder River Basin, along with mines in the Appalachia region, which typically come with a higher production cost structure. 

So will ANR's metallurgical coal assets and its industry-leading exports keep its shares from bottoming out any further? Our Motley Fool analysts talk about it in the following video.

Joel South and The Motley Fool have no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman owns shares of CONSOL Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.