COAL STOCKS UP AFTER KERRY DEFEAT - Benjamin Win Could Stoke Surge

Coal stocks are on the rise now that Democratic Senator John Kerry has lost the presidential race to President Bush, according to Analyst Jonathan Wolff of Wachovia Securities.

Wolff said these stocks had been held down by the so-called "Kerry risk," related to Democrats being environmentally conscious.

Wolff says a Kerry administration likely would have tried to enforce stricter nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and mercury emission standards and could have reignited the global warming issue.

The coal industry claims there is little or no global warming threat, despite numerous international studies to the contrary.

A spokeswoman for Virginia-based Massey Energy, West Virginia's largest coal company and the nation's fourth largest, says company officials are glad Bush won. She said a Bush win is an acknowledgment that coal will be an important part of the nation's energy future.

Massey and other large coal corporations contributed millions of dollars to elect Republican Brent Benjamin to the West Virginia Supreme Court, where several multi-million dollar suits against Massey and other companies will be heard.

Political observers say the court is now tipped toward the coal corporations.

Massey and other coal stocks, including Peabody Energy, Consol Energy, Arch Coal and Walter Industries, were all up between five and eight percent today.