Alpha Natural Resources

IEEFA Research

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

Production Declining by as Much as 40 Million Tons; Prices Failing to Benefit Shareholders or Stimulate New Investment; Anemic Exports; Little or No Gain From Regulatory Relief; Increasingly Dim Employment Prospects

We’re out this morning with our annual outlook for U.S. coal markets, and the picture isn’t pretty. We see the potential for some short-lived strength in the current uptick for coal producers but the title of our assessment sums up the larger view: “Short-Term Gains Will Be Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals.” You can […]

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As Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Powder River Basin Mines Are Losing Their Largest Customers

Trends Will Force Closures and Complicate Efforts by Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy to Work Their Way Out of Bankruptcy

CLEVELAND, Aug. 3, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis today published a report detailing how Powder River Basin coal producers are losing their largest customers as Texas power producers turn increasingly to other sources of energy. The report, “Texas’ Outsize Role in the Decline of the Powder River Basin Coal […]

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The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

Appoint a Price-Setting Commission; Ban Exports; Cancel Some Leases; Eliminate Self-Bonding; Mandate Set-Asides for Mine Clean-up and Miner Pensions; Require Twice-a-Year Audits; Assume Smaller Markets

It’s time for the U.S. to modernize how it manages its publicly owned coal reserves. That’s the essence of comments we’ve filed today with the Department of the Interior as it begins a review of its federal coal-leasing program in the Powder River Basin, a program that has been mismanaged for years at taxpayer expense […]

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For U.S. Coal, Market Realities Grow Increasingly Harsh

For U.S. Coal, Market Realities Grow Increasingly Harsh

Debt Hurdles, Reclamation and Pension Challenges, Abandonment by Hedge Funds

We distributed a briefing note this week that delves into some of the many pressing difficulties confronting U.S. coal producers. In the note (“Struggling U.S. Coal Companies Face Debt Hurdles, Complications From Reclamation and Pension Obligations, Pressure from Hedge Funds”) we talk about how the cumulative impacts of the industry’s many mounting liabilities—reclamation costs, pension […]

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Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, IEEFA  

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Report: 20 Fourth-Quarter Questions for Powder River Basin Coal Producers

Report: 20 Fourth-Quarter Questions for Powder River Basin Coal Producers

20 Fourth-Quarter Questions for Powder River Basin Coal Producers (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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Report – NYC and NYS pension funds should divest coal stocks: A shrinking industry, weak upside, and wrong on climate change

Report – NYC and NYS pension funds should divest coal stocks: A shrinking industry, weak upside, and wrong on climate change

NYC and NYS pension funds should divest coal stocks: A shrinking industry, weak upside, and wrong on climate change (pdf)

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Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk (pdf) By Tim Buckley,  Director of Energy Resource Studies, Australasia, IEEFA

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More News and Commentary

IEEFA Update: Elections Have Consequences, but Perhaps Few That Can Save Coal

IEEFA Update: Elections Have Consequences, but Perhaps Few That Can Save Coal

Market Forces Are What Matter Above All

We didn’t make it this year to the Coaltrans USA conference last week in Miami, but we heard tell of some smart talk at the event by two of the industry’s CEOs, Bob Murray of Murray Energy and Kevin Crutchfield of Contura Energy, né Alpha Natural Resources.    The conference, where executives and analysts gather […]

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Op-Ed: Taxpayers Gain if Federal Coal-Lease Reforms Stand

Meredith Fowlie for The Conversation: The federal coal program is supposed to manage vast federally owned coal reserves, which account for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production, “for the benefit of current and future generations.” But the program has, for a long time, been criticized for selling taxpayers short. For this and other […]

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IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals
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IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

Production Declining by as Much as 40 Million Tons; Prices Failing to Benefit Shareholders or Stimulate New Investment; Anemic Exports; Little or No Gain From Regulatory Relief; Increasingly Dim Employment Prospects

We’re out this morning with our annual outlook for U.S. coal markets, and the picture isn’t pretty. We see the potential for some short-lived strength in the current uptick for coal producers but the title of our assessment sums up the larger view: “Short-Term Gains Will Be Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals.” You can […]

Read More →

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

Production to Decline by as Much as 40 Million Tons; Prices Will Not  Benefit Shareholders or Stimulate New Investment; Anemic Exports; Few Gains From Regulatory Relief; Increasingly Dim Employment Prospects

Jan. 19, 2016 (IEEFA.org) – The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) today published its U.S. Coal Outlook 2017 in which it describes an industry like to decline further this year, though at a slower pace than in 2016. The report—“IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017:  Short-Term Gains Will Be Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses […]

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On the Blogs: A U.S. Coal Company ‘Overlooks’ $100 Million in Cleanup Liabilities

Dave Roberts for Vox: A new story out of West Virginia might take the cake for sheer chutzpah and shamelessness. In this case, at least according to state regulators, shady may have crossed over into outright fraud. Last year, Kingsport, Tennessee-based Alpha Natural Resources (one of the big three US coal companies, along with Peabody […]

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In Bankruptcy Reorganization, U.S. Coal Giant Alpha Is Overstating Cash Flows by $100 Million, Regulators Say

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL: West Virginia regulators admonished Alpha Natural Resources Inc. for a five-year business projection that overstated “cash flows by a whopping $100 million.” The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection noted it would not challenge a settlement resolving the shortfall between Alpha and Contura Energy Inc., the entity formed from the bankruptcy […]

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Mounting Risk (and Opportunity) in Coal Industry Self-Bonding

Gregory DL Morris for Risk & Insurance: Waves of bankruptcies convulsing the coal industry in the United States leave billions of dollars in mine remediation costs potentially unfunded, and raise ominous questions for both tactical insurance and strategic risk management. Dozens of coal companies are in court-supervised reorganization or liquidation, some of them for the […]

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In Bankruptcy Proceedings, Abandoned Cleanup Costs May Result in Coal Companies Losing Permits on Active Mines

Joshua Learn for SNL: With the threat of liquidation weighing over bankruptcy proceedings involving the largest U.S. coal miners, environmental groups and government regulators must often make difficult choices about environmental liabilities. Brian Resnick of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP said that as a bankruptcy lawyer, the ideal solution for insolvent producers is to let […]

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Alpha Closes Its Last Mine in Kentucky

Karla Ward for the Lexington Herald-Leader: An estimated 117 people who work at a Pike County coal mine are expected to be laid off as the mine shuts down in November. Alpha Natural Resources has issued a notice alerting the 114 Sidney Coal employees and 3 Maxxim support personnel at its Process Energy Mine in […]

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Regulator Proceeds With Crackdown on Self-Bonding by Collapsing Coal Industry

Heather Richards for the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced that the agency would begin crafting a self-bonding rule, which will go through multiple comment periods, could potentially change eligibility requirements for the practice, incorporate new bonding mechanisms or institute yearly reviews of the financial health of self-bonded companies. […]

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