Appalachia

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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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 […]

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More News and Commentary

On the Blogs: ‘Real Help for Coal Miners Requires Real Solutions’

Union of Concerned Scientists: Any day now, the president is expected to sign one or more executive orders aimed at rolling back environmental safeguards that improve our public health through protecting clean air and clean water. It will likely include the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to rescind the Clean Power Plan, the first […]

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A Post-Coal Economy in West Virginia: ‘Hard, but Not Impossible’

From the (Beckley, W.V.) Register-Herald: The region’s tradition of coal mining is dying, after the country embraced cheaper and cleaner natural gas, which has surpassed coal as the nation’s leading source of net electricity generation. Last year, the region’s coal production fell by about 60 percent from its height in 2008 at 158 million short […]

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On the Blogs: As Industry Replaces Workers With Machines, ‘Bleak Outlook for Trump’s Promises to Coal Miners’

Devashree Saha and Sifan Liu for the Brookings Institution: The problem facing the coal industry is not unique: Automation is rapidly reducing employment in mining and manufacturing. Across a wide range of industries, from car manufacturing to computing, robots or artificial intelligence are increasingly taking over roles traditionally performed by humans. The same is true […]

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Billions of Dollars in Coal Cleanup Left Unfunded in West Virginia

Michael Virtanen for the Associated Press: West Virginia officials say $4.5 billion worth of work remains at more than 3,300 sites abandoned by coal companies before 1977, when Congress passed a law establishing a national fund for old cleanups. That program was part of an effort to heal the state from the ravages of an […]

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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 […]

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McConnell, Coal’s Champion, Concedes the Decline of Coal

Curtis Tate for McClatchy News: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said rolling back the Obama administration’s environmental rules wouldn’t entirely bring back the coal industry in eastern Kentucky. McConnell told McClatchy in an interview that lawmakers in Congress would work with the incoming Trump administration to “remove as many of the government impediments […]

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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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Editorial: In Praise of New Ban on Mountaintop-Removal Mining in Tennessee

From the Knoxville News Sentinel: In a victory for those who love Tennessee’s mountains, the U.S. Department of the Interior last week banned mountaintop coal mining from more than 500 miles of ridgetops in the Upper Cumberland region. The decision, six years in the making, places a 1,200-foot buffer – 600 feet on both sides […]

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At State’s Request, U.S. Bans New Mountaintop Coal Operations in Tennessee

From the Associated Press: The Interior Department said Wednesday it is designating nearly 75,000 acres or more than 550 miles of mountain ridgelines in East Tennessee as unsuitable for future surface coal mining operations. The department’s action comes at the request of the state, which said in a 2010 petition that mountaintop coal mining in […]

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At Virginia Energy Conference, Talk of Bringing Coal Back

Damean Matthews for the Bristol Herald Courier: The recent talk about reopening shuttered coal mines likely won’t happen, the former CEO of Duke Energy said Tuesday. Jim Rogers and others participating in the second day of an energy conference said the future of coal and energy-related jobs in Southwest Virginia remains uncertain. “Natural gas has […]

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