1 Issue Coal Investors Should Be Concerned About

1 Issue Coal Investors Should Be Concerned About

The cyclical nature of commodities means that products like coal will suffer ups and downs, and it's quite possible that a surge in coal is right around the corner. That doesn't mean that every one will reap the benefits of increased demand, because coal mines in Central Appalachia are struggling to remain profitable. Higher operations costs, competition from natural gas, and environmental regulations are hitting coal mines in this region harder than anywhere else in the country, and the long-term profitability of these mines remains in question.

So which companies does this affect? Some companies like Alpha Natural Resources are more likely to suffer than, say, Peabody Energy , but it all comes down to how much exposure these companies have to Central Appalachia coal. Tune into the video below where Fool.com contributor Tyler Crowe takes a look at which companies should be on notice.

Coal has not only been one of America's prime energy sources for years, but it has also been one of america's few energy exports. With the oil and gas boom in the U.S. today, that dynamic could change. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out our special report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Simply click here to get free access your report.

The article 1 Issue Coal Investors Should Be Concerned About originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google +, or on Twitter, @TylerCroweFool. The Motley Fool recommends Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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