The Supremes, Coal, Government And Business!

First todays headline: ‘Supreme Court overturns costly EPA mercury emissions rules for coal-fired power plants’!

Now the reality…

Number one is that of course we are all interested in clean air! But at the same time, we are all also interested in the lights turning-on when we flip the switch, having a vibrant economy and the good jobs that come along with it.

Number two is that when it comes to bureaucrats and politicians imposing an ideology while likely knowing little (or caring little) about the cause and effect of their actions, bad things can potentially happen.

In this case I’m specifically speaking about the desire of the Obama administration to effectively close the coal industry due to pollution concerns, an economic segment that slowly but surely has been cleaning up their plants on their own.

But that cleaning was apparently not occurring at a fast enough pace so that new and some might argue oppressive rules and regulations have been imposed on the industry by the Obama administration.

This while China and some other nations are subject to few if any emission regulations and with their pollution dwarfing any reductions that will be made in the United States!

Does that mean we should do nothing? No, of course we should address this issue but, as the Supreme Court stated in its ruling today, ‘the government must consider costs before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary’.

The result of all of these new U.S. rules and regs? Because it’s hard to articulate, I present them graphically in the form the stock price performance experienced by four pure coal plays over the past 5 years. It’s not pretty!

Also not pretty? The chart at the top of this article showing coal industry job loss.

Arch Coal

Peabody Energy Corporation

Walter Energy

Alpha Natural Resources


Article author Michael Haltman is the President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

For anyone either buying or refinancing a property your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider, although you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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