I would think the recent Ameren thread on this board would be informative--http://boards.fool.com/ameren-bonds-now-near-double-digit-yi...Natural gas prices are so low (and some say going lower) that coal fired power plants can no longer sell surplus power at profitable prices. They cannot afford to upgrade plants to new environmental requirements and will probably mothball at least some of them.Hence coal demand is falling and will likely continue to fall. And that should extend to Patriot Coal too, and investors worrying about their financial stability and ability to pay when bonds mature.I doubt that all users will switch. Many will continue to use coal. So perhaps coal will get oversold and become a good investment. But this is a falling knife situation. You need to buy it right.
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