"Dirty coal" sees a jump on Wall Street 

Interesting observation at the Indiana Business Journal online. "Dirty Coal" stocks, it seems, have seen long term gains in the stock market. Green tech firms, meanwhile, have not:

Bloomberg News reports that coal stocks are rising while shares of solar-panel companies are falling. The article says the Stowe Global Coal Index, which tracks 38 producers, logged a small gain last year while Bloomberg's Global Leaders Solar index dropped. [...]

A big majority of analysts who follow Peabody Energy Corp., a St. Louis coal company that operates mines in southwestern Indiana, have "buy" ratings on the stock.

Wherefore? Perhaps it's because our leaders -- at both the state and federal levels -- aren't committed to much else but the status quo.

Norm Heikens, at IBJ, speculates:

Why are "dirty" coal stocks rising so fast? Perhaps because governments aren't throwing enough support behind renewable energy, or because rising international competition is crushing solar-panel profits. Failed talks in Copenhagen to limit carbon emissions is another reason.

If coal gets a breather, Indiana might have a chance to build more "clean-coal" power plants like the $2.4 billion gasification project Duke Energy is considering at Edwardsport in southwestern Indiana. Gov. Mitch Daniels and members of his administration have said the state has little realistic choice but to find ways to use its cheap, abundant coal; otherwise, a competitive advantage of cheap electricity will be lost.

To Heikens' argument, I'll add this: In all fairness, Daniels only has a leg to stand on here because the feds are giving him one. Maybe if those stimulus dollars Obama dedicated to developing green tech weren't going overseas (see this NY Times article from November), there would be more of a "competitive advantage" in green energy creation.

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