The U.S. coal industry is facing a perfect storm and has taken a beating recently, bringing coal stocks down with it.
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According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generated by coal was down more than 20% in 2011. So it's no surprise that U.S. coal producers have been hit, and their valuations stand at 15-year lows.
With a torrent of factors dragging the industry down - from a bad reputation to dirt-cheap alternatives -can coal make a comeback?
Let's look at what's the matter with coal, why it doesn't matter in the big picture, and how you can make some money on the rebound.