West Virginia

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

Plant Closings and the Likely Effects on Specific Companies and Mines

We’ve published a research brief today that presents an expansive snapshot of a moving target: the decline in U.S. coal-fired generation nationally. As global energy markets continue to undergo rapid transformation, change has swept the U.S. as well. Our brief—“U.S. Coal Phase-out, Blow by Blow: Plant Closings and the Likely Corresponding Effect on Specific Companies […]

April 21, 2017 Read More →
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 Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

IEEFA Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

FirstEnergy’s Machinations Around the Pleasants Power Station Are Designed to Shift Risk to Ratepayers

In seeking to get the West Virginia Public Service Commission to allow it to sell all or a portion of its Pleasants Power Station, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. is following a strategy of re-regulation that stands to benefit shareholders at ratepayer expense. The coal-fired 1,300-megawatt Pleasants plant is currently owned by a FirstEnergy deregulated subsidiary, Allegheny […]

September 8, 2016 Read More →
In Ohio, AEP and FirstEnergy Adopt an Audacious Strategy That Could Cost Ratepayers Dearly

In Ohio, AEP and FirstEnergy Adopt an Audacious Strategy That Could Cost Ratepayers Dearly

A Model First Established in West Virginia Is Being Pushed Now in the Buckeye State

We’ve posted a research note today that explains how reregulation schemes in Ohio by FirstEnergy and AEP bear a striking resemblance to one approved in West Virginia that resulted in a recent push to raise electricity rates by 12.5 percent. The gist of our memo, “West Virginia Bailout Emboldens FirstEnergy and AEP in Ohio,” is […]

October 21, 2015 Read More →
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 →
Report: Mountain State Maneuver: AEP and FirstEnergy try to stick ratepayers with risky coal plants

Report: Mountain State Maneuver: AEP and FirstEnergy try to stick ratepayers with risky coal plants

Mountain State Maneuver: AEP and FirstEnergy try to stick ratepayers with risky coal plants (pdf)      

July 30, 2013 Read More →
Report- The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise

Report- The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise

Report- The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise (pdf).

August 29, 2012 Read More →

More News and Commentary

More Questions on FirstEnergy Scheme in West Virginia

State Journal (West Virginia): According to multiple sources, including West Virginians For Energy Freedom Coalition and the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis, Ohio-based FirstEnergy, owner of Potomac Edison and Mon Power, has applied to purchase a plant based upon a model purchase in 2013 that has cost consumers over $160 million. FirstEnergy has […]

June 26, 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 →

On the Blogs: Doubts in West Virginia About Coal Resurgence

ThinkProgress.org: West Virginian historian Chuck Keeney, who has written extensively on the state’s coal industry and its miners, said he has not seen a noticeable change in the mood of the state’s residents since Trump became president. “A lot of West Virginians understood that they were rolling the dice with Trump,” explained Keeney, a professor […]

June 19, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: West Virginia’s Suffering

Charleston Gazette: Renewable energy strikes most of us as a pretty good thing. Sun, wind, resources that can’t be exhausted and cause no harm — how can they be bad? Renewable energy’s only bad for coal and gas and oil owners — because they don’t own it. And so they urge you to gun that […]

June 16, 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 →

Skepticism Over FirstEnergy’s West Virginia Machinations

Exponent-Telegram (Clarksburg, W.V): Back in 2013, when FirstEnergy wanted to have subsidiary Allegheny Energy sell the Harrison Power Station to another subsidiary, Mon Power, we questioned the effect it would have on consumers. That thought is once again on our minds as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state Public Service Commission (PSC) […]

May 18, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Don Blankenship Is Loving Las Vegas

IEEFA Update: Don Blankenship Is Loving Las Vegas

The $120 Million Coal Executive Who Got 1 Year for His Part in the Deaths of 29 West Virginia Coal Miners Is as Unrepentant as Ever

After being released last week after doing a year of minimum-security time in sunny Southern Arizona and California, Don Blankenship has been agitating nonstop for sympathy. He wants the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction, he wants Donald Trump to do him a solid, he wants everybody to believe that he had nothing to do […]

May 17, 2017 Read More →

Rising Opposition in West Virginia to FirstEnergy’s Scheme to Shift Risk to Ratepayers

Charleston Gazette: Groups opposing the purchase of the FirstEnergy-owned Pleasants Power Station by subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison have made their case known to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, arguing the transfer would stifle competition and put customers at risk of higher utility bills. Merchant generators and advocacy groups have said the purchase would […]

May 17, 2017 Read More →

Blankenship, Out of Prison, Seeks Exoneration Now

Charleston (W.V.) Gazette: Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his conviction for conspiring to violate federal mine safety and health standards, his lawyers confirmed Thursday. Blankenship’s defense team filed a short form with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noting that it […]

May 12, 2017 Read More →

West Virginians Seek to Emerge From Long History as One-Dimensional ‘Coal Colony’

AFP: Despite a recent uptick, few believe in a lasting revival for a sector that is ever more mechanized, requiring fewer workers, and pummeled by competition with cheap, clean natural gas. So how does a small state with few other industries, where the biggest single employer is Wal-Mart, find a path to replace high-paying albeit […]

May 11, 2017 Read More →