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Westmoreland Coal Company (WLB) Poised to Gain from Coal Industry Resurgence

Renewed interest in clean coal precedes the crude oil inflation of May 2008. Nevertheless, stock investors should not ignore intense energy security pressures that have built up of late. It is a double-edged sword with threats nearly equal opportunities.

The Brazilian bio-fuel model seems to have run out of steam. Though significant Midwest acreage in the United States has shifted from grain to feedstock for energy, social activism around the world threatens adequate and sustained supplies.

Technology to sequester harmful emissions from burning coal, and the system of trading credits for conserving the environment, are powerful drivers for new enthusiasm in this black and time-honored natural resource.

Commonalities between the United States and China are rare. Coal is one of them. Each of these countries is blessed with underground mountain ranges of this energy resource. Energy security and independence are important aspects of pushing hard on the clean-coal front.

Investment in the coal industry seems opportune by all counts. AMEX: WLB is a top trading choice. The company was founded in 1854, but the management is entirely contemporary. It owns five mines rich in coal. These resources are located near power plants, yielding an invaluable logistics cost advantage over much of the competition. Revenues are secured through long-term supply contracts. The company has integrated into power production directly as well. Capital Spending has grown twice as fast as the average for the coal industry over the last five years. This should give it best leverage to benefit from the renewed interest in coal.

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