"The lower prices are expected to linger and could reduce electricity prices and heating bills in the coming months," Fahey writes. "Bob Brackett, an analyst at Bernstein Research, wrote in a recent note to investors that he expects natural gas to average 'in the low 3 [dollar]s" per MCF into the spring, and a warm winter could push the price below $3.'" That's a far cry from last year when prices hit as high as $6.15 in February during last year's brutal winter. (Seeking Alpha graphic)
Read more) For the coal industry, part of the bad news is already here, because lower gas prices make coal less competitive with gas among utilities that can easily switch fuels.