Author Archive: Seth Feaster

Data Analyst Seth Feaster has 25 years of experience creating visual presentations of complex data at The New York Times and more recently at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He specializes in working with financial and energy data.

IEEFA Update: Even Coal-Mining Companies Are Complaining About the Price They Pay for Coal-Fired Electricity

Anecdotes of Note, and Some Irony, in Company Filings

Public filings by U.S. coal-mining companies disclose vast data that is crucial to investors—which is the point of having such information publicly available. They also yield revealing anecdotal notes that add perspective and depth to the numbers, and that include wrinkles of irony sometimes. Some coal-fired power has gotten so expensive that coal producers are […]

August 15, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard

IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard

Companies Are Cancelling Applications for New Leases on Public Lands or Seeking Delays; Presidential Pronouncements Seem Little More Than Symbolic

Its reversal earlier this year of a moratorium on federal coal leases put into place last fall by President Obama got the Trump administration lots of applause from the industry. It got more this week for rescinding a rule that came onto the books several months ago in a federal policy change meant to end […]

IEEFA Update: The Coal ‘Comeback’ of 2017

IEEFA Update: The Coal ‘Comeback’ of 2017

The Second-Worst Production Performance in at Least 30 Years Isn’t Much of a Bounce

The U.S. coal industry is making a comeback. So goes the story being spun lately by the industry itself, even if the facts of the matter suggest something else. The coal industry points, among other statistical threads, to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the Energy Information Administration, released July 11, as a harbinger of […]

July 28, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: The U.S. Energy Narrative Is Shifting

IEEFA Update: The U.S. Energy Narrative Is Shifting

Markets Are Changing; the Media Is Catching Up; Renewables Account for 20% of Total Generation in Latest Data Snapshot

What feels sometimes like a reluctant transformation is taking hold in the emergence of a “when” rather than “if” media narrative on the rise of renewable energy. This awakening is especially noticeable in the financial press, which can often seem captive in a historically entrenched way to the very financiers or industries it covers. Myopia […]

IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs

IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs

Transition in Local and Regional Energy Economies Calls for a Strategy to Promote Growth, Replace Jobs and Sustain Fiscal Budgets

In a research report we published in January, we explained how the U.S. coal industry will very likely continue its overall decline in a trend that will be accompanied by both employment and market volatility. A passage from that report (“Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals”): “Some mine openings and some attendant hirings […]

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

Plant Closings and the Likely Effects on Specific Companies and Mines

We’ve published a research brief today that presents an expansive snapshot of a moving target: the decline in U.S. coal-fired generation nationally. As global energy markets continue to undergo rapid transformation, change has swept the U.S. as well. Our brief—“U.S. Coal Phase-out, Blow by Blow: Plant Closings and the Likely Corresponding Effect on Specific Companies […]

April 21, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

30 States Have Projects Under Construction or in Advanced Development

Wind power is a rapidly growing source of electricity in the U.S., doubling its share of generation in just five years, to 4.9 percent in 2015. The declining cost of wind power, along with cheap natural gas, has put tremendous financial pressure on both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and is changing the mix of fuels […]

September 16, 2016 Read More →
Stirrings of Offshore Wind Development in the Northeast U.S.

Stirrings of Offshore Wind Development in the Northeast U.S.

Policy Initiatives in New York and Massachusetts Could Lift the Industry Regionally; First Turbines Go Up Next Month

Offshore wind development along the East Coast of the U.S. may finally be on the verge of getting under way in earnest, thanks to recent policy developments in Massachusetts and New York. While land-based wind-powered capacity has boomed across the nation’s midsection, where a total of 45 gigawatts is now installed across 11 states from Minnesota […]

July 11, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Data Bite: Renewables, in U.S. Government’s Latest Snapshot, Are Closing In on Coal

IEEFA Data Bite: Renewables, in U.S. Government’s Latest Snapshot, Are Closing In on Coal

Data From Texas, the Largest Market in the Country, Shows a Deepening Shift

Renewable energy is rapidly gaining electricity market share in the U.S, surging ahead of coal-fired power even in some traditionally coal-heavy states, according to the latest monthly figures from the Energy Information Administration. The amount of electricity generated by hydro, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal sources together reached 19.2 percent of all power generation in […]

IEEFA Data Bite: Wind on the Rise, Coal on the Wane

IEEFA Data Bite: Wind on the Rise, Coal on the Wane

A State-by-State Snapshot Shows Two Trends of Note

As coal dependence falters in the U.S., wind-powered electricity generation is on the rise. In less than a decade, the mix of fuels used for generating electricity has gone a major shift. The two maps below show where the changes are most marked. Twelve states, most of them in the wind-rich Great Plains or the […]