It's probably too early to call Duke Energy's (NYSE:DUK) and Southern Company's (NYSE:SO) coal gasification plants "failures," but they're certainly not off to the best start. With Southern's facility in Mississippi blowing out the budget to almost triple the original cost, it is becoming one of the most expensive facilities constructed on a per kilowatt installed basis. Also, after almost a year of "operations," Duke's facility in Indiana has been dealing with perpetual problems and costs that have increased rates for its customers by 16%.

If other utilities were considering the implementation of this new clean coal technology, they are probably reconsidering it after watching the continuing issues with Duke and Southern. This could be a major issue for the future of coal. To find out why, tune into the video below.