Archive for April, 2016

More News and Commentary

FirstEnergy Brings Its Bailout Show Back to West Virginia


FirstEnergy Brings Its Bailout Show Back to West Virginia


In Mon Power Deal, an Attempt to Have Ratepayers Subsidize a Failing and Unneeded Coal-Fired Plant

FirstEnergy is opening a new front in its regional campaign to shift the risks of running uncompetitive coal plants from shareholders to captive ratepayers. The latest offensive: in West Virginia, where the company revealed on Wednesday that it wants its regulated West Virginia subsidiary, Mon Power, to buy Pleasants Power Station, one of its struggling […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →
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Audio: Our Comments on Pipeline-Overbuild Risks in Appalachia

Risks Associated With Natural Gas Infrastructure Expansion in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

We’ve just posted this audio from our press conference earlier this week on our new study, “Risks Associated With Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion Across Appalachia.”  In addition to comments from IEEFA, the audio includes remarks by Joe Lovett, executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates. The report examines the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would traverse West Virginia […]

Coal Industry’s Difficulties Prove a Windfall for Lawyers and Financial Types

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL: The prolonged decline in global coal prices has sent a number of major producers into bankruptcy, costing equity investors, lenders and suppliers billions. But for those firms overseeing producers’ reorganization efforts, the fallout has proven lucrative. According to S&P Capital IQ data, the six largest coal company bankruptcies since 2012 have […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →

U.S. Coal-Generated Electricity Drops to Less Than 30% Market Share in February

From Jeffrey McDonald at Platts: Coal dropped to 29.6% of US utility-scale power generation in February as natural gas and renewables each captured greater market share, the US Energy Information Administration said Thursday. The agency’s Electric Power Monthly showed that coal generation totaled 92.9 GWh in February, down 18.3% from January and 26.9% from the […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →

With Bailouts Under Federal Scrutiny, Ohio Utilities ‘Look to Legislature’

Ohio utilities are likely to urge an end to the state’s current competitive market for generation and take other actions in the wake of federal regulators’ decision this week to halt wholesale electric deals for affiliates’ less competitive plants. On Wednesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced it would require commission scrutiny before American Electric […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →

Pipeline Race Suggests Overbuilding in Virginia

Brian Carlton for the (Waynesboro) News Virginian: While there is a need for natural gas in some parts of Virginia, too many companies are building pipelines to try and fill that void. This in turn could lead to overbuilding, creating pipelines that force legal battles and lengthy construction, but ultimately sit empty or at least […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →

Cloud Peak Backs Away From Self-Bonding Program

Cloud Peak Energy Inc. reported it will move away from the controversial practice of self-bonding its coal mining reclamation liabilities. Cloud Peak President and CEO Colin Marshall said on an April 28 earnings call that the company is in discussion with surety providers to increase third-party bonding. The company has also submitted applications to the […]

April 29, 2016 Read More →

IEEFA Study: FERC at Fault in Pipeline Overbuild

Joe Fisher for Natural Gas Intelligence: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) singled out the Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (MVP) projects in its report, “Risks Associated With Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion in Appalachia.” IEEFA recommended that the project applications be suspended “until a regional planning process […]

April 28, 2016 Read More →

On the Blogs: What Wyoming Can Learn From Europe

Joshua Zaffos for High Country News: The last Thursday of March was Black Thursday in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, when Arch Coal and Peabody Energy announced 465 layoffs at two of the coal-dusted region’s largest mines. The job cuts came amid Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, first by Arch and Alpha Natural Resources in January and […]

April 28, 2016 Read More →

Report: FERC Encourages Pipeline Overbuilding

Sean Sullivan for SNL: “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission facilitates overbuilding,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in a study released April 27. “The high rates of return on equity that FERC grants to pipeline companies (allowable rates of up to 14%), along with the lack of a comprehensive planning process for […]

April 28, 2016 Read More →