Author Archive: David Schlissel

Director of Resource Planning Analysis David Schlissel is a long-time consultant, expert witness, and attorney on engineering and economic issues related to energy. He has testified in more than 100 court proceedings or cases before regulatory bodies.

IEEFA Update: An Effort in Congress to Bail Out the U.S. Coal Industry at Taxpayers’ Expense

A Bill to Ostensibly Enhance National Energy Security Would Actually Benefit Only a Select Few

Having failed to obtain bailouts for failing coal plants and mines by way of policy actions from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the coal industry has now turned to its friends in Congress. Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Indiana, is promoting House Bill HR 5270, the Electricity Reliability […]

IEEFA Update: America’s Coal Industry Is in Trouble

IEEFA Update: America’s Coal Industry Is in Trouble

Little Evidence That Exports Will Save the Day

American coal industry executives have been working hard to restore investor confidence by arguing for a business-recovery rationale based on increased demand in export markets. There’s not much evidence for this case. Exports did help the industry in 2017, as several companies noted in their latest earnings reports, but U.S. coal producers are facing major […]

IEEFA Update: Markets Speak Louder Than Words — Federal Regulator Rejects U.S. Plan to Subsidize Coal and Nuclear Plants

Trump's Own Panel Says Grid is Operating Reliably as More Renewables and Natural Gas are Added

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) stunning decision yesterday to reject Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize operations of financially vulnerable coal plants shows just how powerfully energy markets in the United States are shifting. FERC said the evidence does not support Perry’s claim that retiring more coal and nuclear plants would […]

January 9, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Coal Is Dying, and EPA’s Clean Power Plan Reversal Can’t Save It

Energy Policy From Washington Drifts Toward Irrelevance

By turning the clock back on American energy policy through reversal of the Clean Power Plan, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt — if he succeeds — will end up making electricity for everyday Americans more expensive. And as power bills rise so will the coal industry’s harmful impacts public health and the environment. I say “if […]

October 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]

IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

Calculated Misinformation by a Coal Company Chasing Fading Profits

The last time Peabody Energy got involved with developing a new power plant it ended in financial chaos for 200 Midwest communities that had been talked into taking part. Peabody was the lead proponent of the Prairie State Generating Center in Marisa, Illinois, which opened in 2012 promising cheap electricity for the towns and cities […]

IEEFA Update: In West Virginia Governor’s Scheme, a Bailout Disguised as a National-Security Program That Would Cost Taxpayers $60 Billion Over Five Years

A Flimsy and Dangerous Rationale Rooted in a Denial of Modern Energy Market Trends

Just how big a giveaway to the Appalachian coal industry is West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talking about as he lobbies the White House for a $15-per-ton subsidy for coal producers in the region? Central and Northern Appalachia coal fields produced 167 million tons in 2016, which not incidentally was its lowest year of production […]

IEEFA Update: The U.S. Nuclear Project Cancellation Announcement Heard ’Round the World

IEEFA Update: The U.S. Nuclear Project Cancellation Announcement Heard ’Round the World

Reverberations in Decision on V.C. Summer Project; Similar Reactor Construction in Georgia Is at Risk; Implications for India's Ambitions

Hindsight being 20/20, it’s clear that the developers of the V.C. Summer nuclear-energy project in South Carolina had no choice but to pull the plug on the project, as they announced yesterday they had done. Reasonable foresight would have better served ratepayers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. as well those of Santee Cooper, […]

IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

‘If It's Not Economic for Us, It Won't be Economic for Anybody Else’

Conceding finally that it is uneconomical to operate the Gibbons Creek coal plant except during the hottest months of the year, the owners of the plant have announced it will run now only from June through September. The news is emblematic of a broad shift nationally away from coal-fired electricity and is notable for being […]

IEEFA Update: Will Southern Company Refund Mississippi Ratepayers for Failed $7.5 Billion Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment?

IEEFA Update: Will Southern Company Refund Mississippi Ratepayers for Failed $7.5 Billion Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment?

Red Flags Ignored in Long Run-up to Power Plant Debacle

Call it what you will: fiasco, debacle, calamity, misadventure. But not a surprise. Georgia-based Southern Company and its regulators in Mississippi were warned years ago that the experimental and now infamous “clean coal” Kemper power plant project was a shot in the dark. They kept at it anyway, pushing the price tag to $7.5 billion, […]