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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: Another Canary in the Coal Mine

Telling Details in a Deal That Transfers Two Wyoming Mines to an Appalachian Company

In the second loss-producing deal of the year for Contura Energy, formerly known as Alpha Natural Resources, Contura is planning to transfer two coal mines in Wyoming to another company in exchange for royalties from future sales and for the new owner assuming reclamation liabilities. The deal is also the first negative-value transaction in the […]

December 13, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Coal, Nuclear Industries Seek Billions in Tax-Credit Bailouts

Axios: Two separate lobbying pushes are underway urging Congress to create new multi-billion dollar tax credits benefiting virtually all coal and nuclear power plants across the United States. The price tags: up to $65 billion for coal and $4.8 billion for nuclear. The efforts show the aggressive lengths companies are going trying to survive in […]

December 7, 2017 Read More →

St. Louis, Home of Peabody and Arch Coal, Votes to Move to Renewables

NBC News: St. Louis became the 47th American city to set a goal of getting all of its electricity from clean, noncarbon sources with a vote by local lawmakers Friday — a significant watershed given its long-standing ties to the fossil fuel industry. The unanimous vote by the Board of Aldermen commits the city to […]

November 1, 2017 Read More →

Administration Considers Easing Cleanup-Bonding Restrictions on 3 Recently Bankrupt U.S. Coal Giants

SNL: Limits on coal company self-bonding will be reconsidered by the Trump administration and possibly rescinded or revoked, the U.S. Department of Interior wrote in a recent report. Interior highlighted potential reversals of Obama administration initiatives in a report responding to an executive order calling for a review of actions that potentially burden domestic energy. […]

October 31, 2017 Read More →

Arch Coal, in Nod to Market Trends, Abandons Lease-Expansion Application

SNL: Arch Coal Inc. has withdrawn its application for a lease on a federal tract of land in Wyoming that would have expanded its Black Thunder mine. The request to lease the West Hilight tract was withdrawn at the end of August, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management confirmed in an email. “We currently have […]

September 25, 2017 Read More →

Moody’s: Much-Anticipated Federal Energy Report ‘Will Not Save Coal’

SNL: A fossil fuel-friendly federal government report “will not save coal,” according to a new note out from Moody’s. While the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent study of the U.S. electricity grid was generally written in a tone favorable to coal, Moody’s said, the report does not change expectations the sector will decline in the long term. Moody’s […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →

‘Corporate Welfare’ in Colorado Governor’s Approval of Arch Coal Royalty Reduction

SNL: Colorado’s governor has thrown his support behind Arch Coal Inc.’s request to pay lower royalty rates for the coal it mines from its West Elk operation. The coal producer submitted a renewal request earlier this summer for a royalty rate reduction at its West Elk mine that had been previously approved. Arch sought a […]

September 1, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Colorado: Arch Coal Request for State Royalty Relief on Mine Would Cost $12 Million-$14 Million

Gov. Hickenlooper Urged to Invest in Growing Sectors of Economy Rather Than Subsidizing Fading Ones

Aug. 22, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis today urged Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper not to grant Arch Coal a reduction in the state royalties it pays on its West Elk mine in Gunnison County. “Arch’s request would cost the State of Colorado as much as $12-16 million and it would […]

August 22, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard
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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 […]

Analysts ‘Underwhelmed’ by Latest Arch Coal Earnings

SNL: Arch Coal Inc. results underwhelmed analysts, despite improved coal markets, in the first earnings release of major U.S. coal producers in the second-quarter earnings season. Seaport Global Securities LLC analyst Mark Levin called the results “disappointing” in a July 27 note, basing his assessment on reported EBITDA of $95 million. He wrote that Seaport […]

July 28, 2017 Read More →