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Cramer: Why coal won't be saved – even with Trump's energy agenda

Elizabeth Gurdus

President Donald Trump's push to deregulate businesses may be a positive for the stock market, but Jim Cramer does not see Tuesday's rollback of oil and gas regulations as a huge boon for coal.

"Trump can rant and rave about coal all he wants, but most of the CEOs in the utility business have had it with coal," the "Mad Money" host said.

Utilities companies have already set multi-year plans for building new energy plants, and a political push for more coal production will not redirect their vision, especially when it involves wind, solar, and natural gas instead, Cramer said.

"These utility CEOs know one thing: politics is fickle," Cramer said. "If they start building coal plants now and Trump doesn't get re-elected, they may have to shut these facilities down, which will cause them to lose a fortune and also send your electric bill soaring."

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Plus, the United States is the world's largest natural gas producer, and natural gas recently surpassed coal as the top fuel for power this year. To utility bigwigs, spending the money to patch up dilapidated coal plants is not worth the effort.

"So no matter what the president does, I don't think utility coal can be saved. At best, its demise will be slowed," Cramer said.

Where Cramer is bullish on Trump's deregulation efforts is in the area of methane.

U.S. oil and gas executives have been at odds with federal regulators who do not approve of flaring, or the burning of excess methane gas that cannot be processed. If the EPA had ruled against releasing methane this way, oil and gas companies would have had to cut back on drilling.

"Under this president that's clearly not going to happen, at least at the federal level, and that's a huge boon to all of the domestic drillers" whose stocks popped in response, Cramer said.

The "Mad Money" host acknowledged that if you are worried about climate change, this is upsetting news. But as an investor seeking a better portfolio, you should pick up a few more oil and gas names and steer clear of coal.

"Trump can't force utilities to use more coal, but he can make it easier for oil and gas producers to drill more aggressively," Cramer said. "I think these stocks have more room to run. Hey, if it bothers you, you can always donate your profits to the Sierra Club."

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