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Coal Piles at 24-Year Low at U.S. Utilities on Demand Surge

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  • Miners can’t keep up with world’s voracious appetite for coal
  • Record natural gas prices pushing power plants to switch fuel

Coal stockpiles at U.S. power plants plunged to the lowest in at least 24 years as electricity generators burn the fuel faster than miners can dig it out of the ground.  

Inventories fell to 84.3 million tons in August, according to government data released Tuesday. That’s the lowest in records going back to 1997, when Bill Clinton was beginning his second term as U.S. president.