If you thought natural gas was cheap compared to oil, coal is roughly a quarter of the cost of natural gas according to a chart at Gregor.us which shows:
Today’s prices for a million BTU, by source: Brent Crude Oil; West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil; United Kingdom LNG; North American Natural Gas; Central Appalachian Coal; Powder River Basin Coal.
Please visit the site to see the chart. But essentially 1 million btu of natural gas costs $2.39 while coal costs $0.52. So coal is extremely cheap relative to natural gas, which is already cheap in comparison to oil which costs $14.56 for 1 million btu. I wonder if any hedge fund managers are pondering ways to profit from this discrepancy.