West Virginia

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 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 […]

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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 […]

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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

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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

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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)      

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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).

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More News and Commentary

West Virginia Lawmaker Backs Off Campaign to Eliminate Mine-Safety Inspections

Charleston (W.V.) Gazette: A bill that would eliminate almost all coal-mine safety enforcement by West Virginia inspectors has been pulled and alternative legislation — billed as a compromise between industry and labor — will be made public later this week, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining said Tuesday. Sen. Randy […]

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In West Virginia, a Fledgling Solar Industry Emerges

The Guardian: Conant is part of a small group of entrepreneurs who believe in the possibility of replacing disappearing coal jobs with employment in solar in West Virginia. It’s a monumental challenge. The state lacks the mix of solar-friendly regulations, financial incentives and high electricity prices that have made solar affordable and created a booming […]

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FirstEnergy Files Its Bid to Have Customers Bail Out West Virginia Power Plant

Charleston Gazette Mail: MonPower and Potomac Edison insist their request to purchase the Pleasants Power Station from fellow FirstEnergy subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply is the best option for the companies and their ratepayers, citing low cost, a better chance to avoid costly penalties and local economic benefits. However, advocacy groups such as West Virginians for […]

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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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Consol Energy Proceeds With Plan to Divest From Its Coal Assets

Bloomberg News: Consol Energy Inc. said it has hired advisers to help push ahead with plans to divest its coal business in a transaction that, people familiar with the matter say, could be worth $2.8 billion or more. The energy company is working with Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp. to reach […]

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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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Grass-Roots Resistance to Pipeline Company’s Eminent Domain Orders in West Virginia

Stuebenville (Ohio) Herald-Star: As a 29-year Army soldier and former West Virginia State Police trooper, trooper, Larry Helmick said he is no stranger to the federal courthouse in Wheeling, where he and dozens of other property owners face a sweeping eminent domain lawsuit from the company building the $4.3 billion Rover Pipeline. “I have testified […]

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As West Virginia’s Billionaire Governor Pushes for Budget Cuts, His Back Coal-Business Taxes Remain Unpaid

Andrew Brown for the Charleston Gazette-Mail: As Gov. Jim Justice and his staff have drafted their first budget proposal, the billionaire businessman-turned-politician continues to owe the state more than $3 million in coal severance taxes that his businesses have failed to pay, as of Feb. 6. If Justice’s privately owned businesses were to pay those […]

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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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