WHAT IS GEORGE SOROS DOING WITH HIS COAL INVESTMENTS

Coal Bin by Harold Hough

Why is it that George Soros, Obama’s best billionaire friend, is buying coal companies? Buying coal goes against the political and environmental ideology Soros has long espoused. Less than a year ago the Soros’ Climate Policy Initiative issued a major report concluding that the world could save $1.8 trillion over the next two decades by transitioning away from coal. The report referred to coal reserves as “stranded assets” that were losing value as they were no longer needed. So, why did Soros buy these “stranded assets?” Maybe he has looked at his calendar and realized that Obama leaves office in just over a year.

Soros, whose $24 billion fortune is built on successful trading, recently snapped up 1 million shares of Peabody and half a million shares of Arch Coal according to filings reviewed by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper. Both companies have been driven perilously close to bankruptcy by the combination of Obama’s “war on coal.”

Coal has been hit hard by shifting utility company preferences for other power sources, while metallurgical coal has been hammered by the worldwide economic downturn which has hit demand for steel and other building materials. In fact, Peabody, which once went for $90 a share, is now gong for about $1. News of Soros’ investment immediately led to a surge in the stock price of many coal firms.

The Soros move even inspired another rich environmentalist. Tom Clarke, who made a fortune in health care, recently announced a plan to buy Patriot Coal for $400 million, following a major investment in coal by the billionaire liberal activist George Soros. He rationalize his purchase by saying he is looking to transform the industry, and intends to sell his coal at a 10 percent premium -- which he will then spend on planting trees. Patriot, was a spinoff from Peabody Energy. It had lost 75 percent of its value, thanks to Obama’s EPA regulations. Needless to say, Clarke also supported and donated to Obama’s campaigns.

Clarke wrapped the purchase in altruistic terms. “My number 1 priority is not to stop burning coal because that's not going to happen for 30 to 50 years,” Clarke told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We really see this as an opportunity -- not to expand coal, it's going to shrink anyway. But let's make sure we can at least keep people employed in Central Appalachia with this offset.”

Forget the “Politically Correct” rational. What does a savvy trader like Soros see in coal? He could be looking for a quick, short term profit since the stocks of virtually all coal miners now trade for a fraction of what they did only a few years ago, and investors may be overly pessimistic about the short-term outlook in the sector.

However, it appears that Soros has long term plans for his new coal investments. Soros knows these companies have proven reserves of 11 billion tons – a resource worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s likely that Soros figured that he could buy these stocks for pennies on the dollar and then profit when coal prices rise after his friend Obama leaves the White House. After all 11 billion tons is a lot of coal, and coal prices are at record low prices. Maybe the website Breitbart was right. They suggested that once the existing coal industry ownership was wiped out by Obama’s regulatory onslaught, a new politically correct ownership would rehabilitate coal by contributing to Democrats.

The leftists aren’t interested in destroying the coal industry. They just want to steal it.