Peabody CEO Sees Big NG to Coal Switching

from Reuters today:

"Rising prices for natural gas, a competing fuel at power plants, are prompting generators to shift back to using coal. U.S. consumption of coal for electricity generation will increase 7.3 percent to 885.2 million short tons in 2013, according to an April 9 report from the Energy Department. Coal companies cut output by 6.9 percent last year, shutting mines and firing workers, in the face of lower demand.

“U.S. coal fundamentals have improved from a year ago as colder temperatures and rising natural gas prices result in utilities increasingly returning to coal,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce said in a conference call to discuss results with analysts. "