Being an investor in Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), and Walter Energy (NASDAQOTH:WLTGQ) has been nothing but discouraging for the past couple of years.

ANR Chart

ANR data. Source: YCharts.

However, all three have gone from just discouraging to flat-out concerning. Not only are they not generating any returns for shareholders, but they aren't even generating enough of a return on its coal contracts to pay the interest payments on their debt. 

With EBITDA-to-interest expense ratios dropping below 1 and the market for coal continually looking weak, these companies will need to rely on their cash hoards to cover payments for the foreseeable future. Find out how long these companies can hold out for better days by tuning into the video below. 

Three energy companies that the IRS gives you a "free pass" for owning
You already know record oil and natural production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. But what you probably haven't heard is that the IRS is encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance, offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America's greatest energy companies. Take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report, "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," and you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

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