Washington

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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IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known


IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known


Costs to Ratepayers Stand to Increase if Puget Sound Keeps Two Coal-Fired Plants Alive

In testimony today to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia, Wash., we are presenting fresh analyses that shows how two coal-fired electricity generators in Montana co-owned by Puget Sound Energy are worse investments  than previously known. Over the past several months, IEEFA has documented how Colstrip 1 and 2 have become an increasingly […]

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Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

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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  

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Report- Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin

Report- Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin

Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin (pdf) With almost no accountability, BLM failure created boom in electric power industry use of artificially cheap coal from Montana and Wyoming; Next major coal sale set for Thursday   WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 25, 2012 – […]

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More News and Commentary

Developer of Proposed U.S. Coal-Export Terminal Gives Up

Dave Gallagher for the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald: Developers of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point have withdrawn its permit applications, essentially closing the book on the project. Pacific International Terminals sent a letter Tuesday to Whatcom County officials announcing it was stopping the environmental impact statement process and is withdrawing its applications for the […]

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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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Washington State Rejects Lease Application for U.S. Coal-Export Terminal

Gene Johnson for the Associated Press: Washington’s outgoing public lands commissioner said Tuesday he is refusing to allow the state’s aquatic lands to be used for a major coal-export terminal along the Columbia River. But the company behind the proposal insisted the decision would have no effect on its plans. Millennium Bulk Terminals proposed building […]

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Both Promoters and Opponents Sense a Pulse in Dormant Gateway Pacific Coal-Export Project

Christopher Coats for SNL: Months after federal and Washington state officials effectively halted progress on the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal, project backers have moved to ensure that they can return to the project at a later date, while opponents are moving to halt it completely with an expansion of state protection. The proposed […]

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IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

30 States Have Projects Under Construction or in Advanced Development

Wind power is a rapidly growing source of electricity in the U.S., doubling its share of generation in just five years, to 4.9 percent in 2015. The declining cost of wind power, along with cheap natural gas, has put tremendous financial pressure on both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and is changing the mix of fuels […]

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Of Seven New U.S. Coal-Export Terminals Planned in the Past Five Years, None Has Opened

Timothy Puko and Erica E. Phillips for the Wall Street Journal: Western coal producers once saw exports to Asia as their future. For many, that dream is fading. A global glut has flooded overseas markets that were once expected to buy coal produced along a belt stretching from Utah to Montana that includes the Powder […]

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IEEFA Montana: Closing of Two Coal-Fired Units Is an Acknowledgment of Their Failure to Compete

IEEFA Montana: Closing of Two Coal-Fired Units Is an Acknowledgment of Their Failure to Compete

Lawsuit Settlement Sets Retirement of Colstrip 1 and 2 by 2022


News yesterday that a pair of coal-fired power-generation units in Montana will finally close had an air of inevitability about it. Here’s the lead from the Associated Press story: “The Colstrip coal plant in Montana that serves utility customers across the Pacific Northwest—including Puget Sound Energy customers—agreed to shut down two of its four units and limit […]

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Colstrip Will Close Two Coal-Fired Units

Matthew Brown for the Associated Press: A large Montana coal plant serving utility customers across the Pacific Northwest agreed Tuesday to shut down two of its four units by 2022 and limit pollution from the plant until that happens, under a settlement with environmentalists who sued over emission violations. Terms of the partial shutdown of […]

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Op-Ed: Coal Trains

Brian L. Gunn for the Auburn (Wash.) Reporter: When I ran for state representative in 2012, I walked downtown Auburn neighborhoods with a petition calling on state leaders to deny permitting of coal export terminals. The folks who signed the petition agreed that increased coal train traffic through our city was bad for our health, […]

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Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”

Christopher Coats in SNL: Few options have emerged for reviving the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal in Washington following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent decision to halt permitting of the controversial project, according to stakeholders involved. On May 9, the Corps announced that it halted the permitting process for the terminal in response to a […]

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