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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

June 23, 2015 Read More →
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 →
IEEFA Report: Almost $30 Billion in Revenues Lost to Taxpayers by ‘Great Giveaway’ of Federally Owned Coal in Powder River Basin

IEEFA Report: Almost $30 Billion in Revenues Lost to Taxpayers by ‘Great 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 – […]

June 25, 2012 Read More →

More News and Commentary

IEEFA U.S.: A rough week for the American coal industry

Momentum around declining consumption numbers, utility-company policy, export markets and internal assessments

The economic problems facing the U.S. coal industry have been on manifest display this week. On Tuesday morning, the federal Energy Information Administration reported that coal use in the U.S. is on track to fall to its lowest level since 1979, and that by year’s end consumption will be 44% below the 2007 peak of […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

PacifiCorp looks to keep coal plant data permanently private

Associated Press: An electric utility is asking a Washington state judge to permanently block the public release of some economic information it provided to state regulators about its coal-burning units. The Sierra Club says the public should have clear information about the financial risks of operating coal-burning power plants. It filed a public records request […]

September 7, 2018 Read More →

Tono Solar project taking shape at closed TransAlta coal mine in Washington

Clean Technica: The TransAlta power plant’s three tall stacks still generate electricity from coal. But coal-fired energy will only be a memory at TransAlta by 2025—with a first burner to cease operation sooner, in 2020. It’s all part of Washington state’s larger plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels in less than 2 […]

July 3, 2018 Read More →

New Washington State Rules Are Another Blow to Colstrip Coal Plant

The Seattle Times: State regulators this week stepped up their activism on the climate front by telling three utilities to reconsider the carbon-emission costs of producing electricity from coal and other fossil fuels. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission directives were sent to Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corp and Pacific Power, which collectively serve more […]

May 10, 2018 Read More →

Wyoming Threatens Legal Action as Washington State Distances Itself From Coal Export Project

Longview Daily News (Washington): The state of Wyoming is considering suing Washington state over coal. In yet another plot twist in the protracted Millennium Bulk Terminals saga, a bill introduced Friday by Wyoming state Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, would create a $250,000 “coal terminal litigation account.” Under the legislation, the fund could be used to […]

February 12, 2018 Read More →

U.S. Coal Producers Continue ‘Long-Shot’ Bid to Approve New West Coast Export Terminals

Reuters: The ailing U.S. coal industry is ramping up its political and legal offensive to win approval for West Coast export terminals that could provide a lifeline to lucrative Asia markets. Coal producers filed two recent lawsuits against governments in Washington state and California challenging local decisions to block port projects on environmental grounds. The […]

January 30, 2018 Read More →

As Trump Moves to Reverse Emissions Policies, States Step In to Advance Them

Yale 360: Just hours after President Trump’s Rose Garden speech in June announcing plans to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the governors of three states — California, Washington, and New York — announced their remedy. They formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, and called on other states to join them in continuing to push […]

October 10, 2017 Read More →

State Denies Permit on Last of Proposed West Coast Coal-Export Terminals

Seattle Times: The Washington State Department of Ecology has denied a key permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, a decision that if it withstands appeal would kill the last remaining proposal in the state to export Western coal to Asia. The department denied the permit citing nine problem areas, including rail safety, air […]

September 27, 2017 Read More →

1 Permit Down, 22 to Go for Long-Proposed U.S. West Coast Coal-Export Terminal

SNL: The chief of a planned West Coast coal export terminal says the project is now on the fast track to approval despite a series of regulatory and advocacy setbacks. “We’re now on the freeway,” Bill Chapman, president and CEO of Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, told S&P Global Market Intelligence. The planned terminal received a permit […]

July 25, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: A Road to Nowhere

Seattle Times: The reality is that the economic prospects for West Coast coal exports have collapsed. China’s demand for coal, which once seemed limitless, has been falling for three consecutive years. India’s coal imports fell last year and are projected to drop even further as the country increasingly taps domestic coal reserves to fuel its […]

April 26, 2017 Read More →