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 […]

Report: FirstEnergy Seeks a Subsidized Turnaround

Report: FirstEnergy Seeks a Subsidized Turnaround

FirstEnergy: A Major Utility Seeks a Subsidized Turnaround (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance and Cathy Kunkel, Fellow Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

October 6, 2014 Read More →
Report:  No evidence of a turnaround at Prairie State

Report: No evidence of a turnaround at Prairie State

No Evidence of a Turnaround at Prairie State (pdf) By David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis

September 25, 2014 Read More →

More News and Commentary

Pennsylvania State Grants: $5,000 for Every New Solar Job

Pittsburgh Business Times: The program is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The program will now allow for grants of up to $5,000 or loans of up to $40,000 for each solar-manufacturing job created over three years for companies […]

November 27, 2017 Read More →

West Virginia Reconsiders Its Permit for 300-Mile Mountain Valley Pipeline

Charleston Gazette: Faced with a deadline to defend their permit approval against a federal court challenge, West Virginia regulators moved this week to back off their certification that the Mountain Valley Pipeline would not violate the state’s water quality standards. The state Department of Environmental Protection said in a Thursday letter to the pipeline developers […]

September 11, 2017 Read More →

Plea for 2-Year Moratorium on U.S. Coal Plant Closings Lands With a Thud

Associated Press: The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him. The Energy Department says it considered issuing the order sought by companies seeking relief for plants it says are […]

August 22, 2017 Read More →

Contura, Citing Weak Investor Interest, Pulls Its IPO

Bloomberg News: Contura Energy Inc., which inherited some of Alpha Natural Resources Inc.’s best coal mines during that company’s bankruptcy, has withdrawn a plan for an initial public offering amid lackluster demand from potential investors. Contura’s decision underscores how cautious Wall Street has been about investing in the U.S. coal sector, despite a rebound following […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →

Having Failed to Sell Coal Holdings, Consol Energy Will Spin Them Off

SNL: CONSOL Energy Inc. said efforts to sell its coal mining master limited partnership “did not produce compelling results” so the company will focus 100% on preparing a spinoff transaction to be ready before 2017 ends. CONSOL, which is increasingly focused on its natural gas exploration and production operations, launched a process that would separate […]

August 2, 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 →

IEEFA Update: Electricity Auctions Across Major Swaths of U.S. Spell Further Distress for Fading Coal Plants

More Capacity From Gas-Fired Generation and Renewable Sources Creates an Existential Problem for the Old Order

Coal-fired electricity plants across much of the U.S. earn their revenues by selling megawatt hours (MWh) into competitive wholesale capacity markets in the capacity that generation represents in megawatts (MW). The trends in the revenue these plants earn through selling their capacity in periodic auctions are increasingly worrisome for their owners.  Energy market prices have […]

IEEFA Ohio/Pennsylvania: Bracing for Economic Fallout From Failing Power Plants

IEEFA Ohio/Pennsylvania: Bracing for Economic Fallout From Failing Power Plants

Now Is the Time to Plan for Transition

Time has borne out what we said in a report we published in 2014 arguing that FirstEnergy was in financial trouble and that its strategy of seeking bailouts from customers might not be enough to turn around the company’s flagging fortunes. This excerpt from that report—“FirstEnergy: A Major Utility Seeks a Subsidized Turnaound”—summarizes our assessment: […]

On the Blogs: Trump Seeks Evisceration of Coal-Community Investment Initiatives

Center for American Progress: Trump campaigned on promises to revitalize the U.S. coal industry and bring back coal mining jobs. On March 28, he signed an executive order that began the process of rolling back key federal efforts, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from the U.S. […]

April 24, 2017 Read More →

Dakota Access Campaign Seen as a Model for Pipeline Resistance Nationally

Associated Press: The tactics used in North Dakota – resistance camps, prominent use of social media, online fundraising – are now being used against several projects. They include the Sabal Trail pipeline that will move natural gas from Alabama to Florida; the Trans-Pecos natural gas pipeline in Texas; the Diamond pipeline that will carry oil […]

April 3, 2017 Read More →