The recently signed into law by President Bush Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 has some considerable language to help wean the US dependence on petroleum and natural gas and shift a lot of electric generation to coal. That will help the railroads and barge companies since what is being encouraged by the Act is to construct near pollution free Integraged Gas Coal Conversion ("IGCC") generation wherein coal would have the pollutants stripped in a gassification process located at the generating station. The gas would be low BTU (200-300 per cubic foot) and thus could not be made at the mine mouth and injected into natural gas lines (1040 BTUs per cubic foot).
The other environmental aspect of the Act is to encourage new nuclear generator construction. Even for existing plants, the plan is to ship spent fuel to Yucca Mountain by rail.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust