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 […]

Two Pipeline Expansion Projects in Appalachia Indicate a Rush Toward Overbuilding

Two Pipeline Expansion Projects in Appalachia Indicate a Rush Toward Overbuilding

Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines Pose Risk to Ratepayers, Communities, and Investors

We’ve published a report today that concludes that two natural gas pipelines proposed for construction from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina are indicative of a rush toward industry overbuilding. The study, “Risks Associated With Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion Across Appalachia,” examines the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would traverse West Virginia into eastern […]

April 27, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

IEEFA Update: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

IEEFA Update: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

Broad Indexes Are Up in the Short, Long and Medium Term; Coal Indexes Are Not; Little Indication Producers’ Performance Will Improve

If stock prices are any measure of a company or industry’s success or failure, the coal industry has been failing now for 10 years.     The recent progress noted by many companies in their second-quarter earnings reports notwithstanding—production increases, slight improvements in profit margins, some increases in exports via East Coast ports, and purportedly […]

August 18, 2017 Read More →

Subsidizing Declining Appalachian Coal Seen as Having ‘Marginal’ Effect

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Appalachian coal, high in sulfur and costly to mine, has been losing market share to other American coal-producing regions for years. Looking to stem the tide, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week proposed that the federal government subsidize coal-fired power plants that buy from Appalachian mines by $15 a ton, up […]

August 18, 2017 Read More →

The Dubious Case for Appalachian Coal Subsidies

Financial Times: As technologies for renewable energy and grid management advance, the special position that coal has held since Thomas Edison’s first power plants in the 1880s has become much harder to defend. The call to subsidize coal is a sign of how the economics of power generation have been transformed. Just five years ago, […]

August 17, 2017 Read More →

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 […]

No Sign of Recovery in Latest Kentucky Coal Industry Data

WFPL Louisville: New numbers from the first two quarters of this year show both coal production and employment are continuing to decline in Kentucky, despite President Donald Trump’s promises that miners would be going back to work. Overall, Kentucky saw a nearly 10 percent decline in coal production between the first and second quarters of […]

August 3, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Coal Cleanup: Pennsylvania’s Fifth District ‘the Most Abandoned in the Country’

SNL: The area is home to tens of thousands of acres of abandoned mine lands from more than 100 years of coal mining, dating back to the Industrial Revolution in some cases. Cleaning them up is a public health priority, but federal funding is far from certain. According to data compiled by the U.S. Office […]

July 18, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Coal Industry Lobby Seeks to Kill Appalachian Economic Recovery Bill

Utility Dive: A coal-mining industry group signaled its opposition to the legislation late last week, a move that could squeeze Republicans who might otherwise support the bill. The RECLAIM Act, from Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and a group of Appalachian lawmakers, would use $1 billion of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) funding over five years to […]

June 27, 2017 Read More →

Analyst: U.S. Coal Industry Must Consolidate

SNL: The coal industry is “too fragmented” to command pricing power and is in need of consolidation, according to a new note from Seaport Global Securities LLC analysts. Analyst Mark Levin wrote in a June 20 note that the industry has “too many suppliers chasing too few tons.” The report cites a recent claim that […]

June 21, 2017 Read More →

Skepticism in West Virginia Around Talk of a Post-Coal Economy

U.S. News & World Report: Though many have counted on President Donald Trump’s promises to revive the coal industry– which residents hope would replenish jobs and therefore the population– the prospect that he will fulfill them continues to grow more grim. West Virginia’s coal production has decreased nearly 50 percent from 2008 to 2016, according […]

May 26, 2017 Read More →

Letter From an Ohio Coal Town

Cleveland Plain Dealer: People here are hoping not just for the return of coal mining jobs, which have fallen below 400 in the county. They are longing for an industrial renaissance, which Trump has all but promised. They may get at least the start of one. But it probably won’t be based on coal. The […]

May 2, 2017 Read More →