Thanks to ALL for your answers. I learned more than I thought
I would. I have one followup question ...
I get it that the coal suppliers (mines/etc.) priced by the BTU.
But I don't think they were regulated. So if you have 2 mines
then the one that is considerably further away from the buyer
might negotiate a different price in order to win a sale to a
buyer. Right? Or would the government step in and tell them
that they were being 'unfair' to buyers that were closer to
them? (And presumably cause them to raise their price.)
How about the difference in price possible for long term
contracts - such as "so many tons of coal over a year or more
that was delivered as so many car loads per month"? And
as compared to short term contracts.
- Jim B.