Coal back in favor. Natural Gas now more expensive then Coal.
Hot weather outlook again boosts natural gas Story posted 2012.07.30 at 01:06 PM PDT
As the temperature keeps rising, so does the price of natural gas.
Natural gas futures in New York have surged 69 percent since hitting a 10-year low this spring. Power plants are burning more natural gas for electricity as homes and businesses crank up the air conditioning. And natural gas companies are finally cutting back after a production boom that pushed supplies this winter to the highest level on record.
The price jumped another 6.6 percent Monday after forecasters predicted an especially toasty August, with unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the Midwest. Natural gas ended the day at $3.214 per 1,000 cubic feet, a high for the year.
As it gets more expensive, utilities will likely burn more coal, independent petroleum analyst Stephen Schork said. Schork noted that natural gas was cheaper than coal from February to May, making it the preferred fuel source for many utilities.
"This is no longer the case," Schork said. Coal is now cheaper than natural gas.