Arch Coal

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 […]

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 […]

August 2, 2016 Read More →
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 […]

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 […]

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  

November 19, 2014 Read More →
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

November 11, 2014 Read More →
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)

May 8, 2014 Read More →
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

April 18, 2014 Read More →

More News and Commentary

IEEFA update: Peabody continues to grapple with decline

Lease relinquishments are a sign of deeper trouble

In Peabody Energy’s recent relinquishment of some of its federal coal leases, the company is cleaning up its production cost side in the face of declining demand, particularly for the lower-quality 8400 BTU product that comes out of the Powder River Basin. The particular Wyoming coal in question has gone from being an asset to […]

September 20, 2018 Read More →

Wyoming moves forward with self-bonding limits

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming’s largest coal mines would effectively be banned from self-bonding if the proposed rules that passed an advisory board Wednesday make it through one more round of public input and onto the governor’s desk. At a sparsely attended meeting in Casper, citizen members of the Land Quality Advisory Board voted 4-1 to […]

September 20, 2018 Read More →

U.S. coal production falls for third straight quarter

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Total U.S. coal production fell for the third quarter in a row, according to an analysis of the most recent federal data. Coal producers reported output of 180.8 million tons in the second quarter of 2018, down 3.7% from 187.6 million tons in the first quarter and 187.1 million tons […]

September 19, 2018 Read More →

Powder River Basin coal output down sharply in second quarter

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Total coal production declined sharply in the second quarter at some of the largest coal mines in the nation, according to early data from the U.S. Mine Health and Safety Administration. Coal production from the Powder River Basin, the most productive coal region in the U.S., was down 9.9% in […]

July 24, 2018 Read More →

Flat Demand Hits Arch Coal Hard

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Arch Coal Inc.’s stock price took a dive in early trading April 26 after the company said it is pulling back on thermal coal production in the Powder River Basin and ran into operational challenges in its metallurgical coal segment in the first quarter. Stock in the U.S. thermal and […]

April 27, 2018 Read More →

Bank Alleges Fraud in Coal Company Asset Dealings

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Fifth Third Bank has sued Revelation Energy LLC for failing to make payments on its loans and alleged that the U.S. coal producer may have fraudulently transferred assets in the company’s acquisition of two large Powder River Basin mines. The bank wrote in a civil complaint filed in the U.S. […]

April 25, 2018 Read More →

Few New Leases on Federal Coal Tracts 1 Year After Moratorium Reversal

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A year after the Trump administration lifted a controversial moratorium on federal coal leases, both approvals and new applications are scarce as industry challenges show little sign of abating. “I don’t think there is a whole lot of interest in new coal leasing,” said Mark Squillace, director of the Natural […]

April 5, 2018 Read More →
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 […]

Mining Companies Across Biggest U.S. Coal Region See More Declines in Production

S&P Global Market Intelligence: Top producers in the largest U.S. coal basin are guiding investors to further declines in coal volumes from the region in 2018. Three coal companies responsible for producing about three-quarters of the coal that comes out of the Powder River Basin issued guidance that collectively would equal a 1% to 6% […]

February 22, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Financial Facts Don’t Support Coal Industry’s Claims of 2017 Recovery

Failed Deals, Financial Losses, and Cancelled Leases Contradict the Rosy Picture Offered by Industry Executives

As 2017 ended, coal industry leaders made a number of upbeat statements to the press and investors, citing what they saw as good news: regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration, promises of future federal subsidies, improved profits, an increase in coal exports and metallurgical sales, a few loan closings, and a late year stock price […]

January 2, 2018 Read More →