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Power play

Cheap natural gas is bringing coal’s long reign as the fuel of choice in US generation to an end

The golden age of gas hasn’t turned out quite as American producers hoped. Demand hasn’t kept up with surging supply. Prices have sunk to historical lows. Stalwart producers like Chesapeake Energy are struggling to survive. Still, the business is on the cusp of a landmark moment. This year, gas should unseat king coal at the top of America’s power mix. Coal has dominated the power mix for decades. It might be dirty, but it’s also dirt-cheap and it fuelled America’s economic rise. As recently as a decade ago, coal-fired power accounted 50% of generated electricity. Then came an onslaught of cheap natural gas, a raft of new environmental rules and the rise of renewables. The ensuing transfor

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