West Virginia

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

Utilities accelerate shutdown dates; 22 plants in 14 states this year; hard-hit regions include the Ohio River Valley

Oct. 25, 2018 — U.S. coal-fired power plant closures are on pace this year to set a record, concludes a research report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report — “Record Drop in U.S. Coal-Fired Capacity Likely in 2018: Utilities Are Accelerating Shutdown Dates as Plants Grow Increasingly Uneconomic”— […]

October 25, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA update: Big risk to taxpayers in FirstEnergy settlement on coal plants

IEEFA update: Big risk to taxpayers in FirstEnergy settlement on coal plants

Who will pay for cleanup and reclamation at sites in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia?

The overriding risk that remains from a federal court settlement this week around the FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy in Ohio is that taxpayers in three states will be left holding the bag on cleaning up after the company. This is no small-ticket item. It’s impossible to say what it will cost to decommission and do the […]

September 28, 2018 Read More →
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 →
Two Pipeline Expansion Projects in Appalachia Indicate a Rush Toward Overbuilding

Two Pipeline Expansion Projects in Appalachia Indicate a Rush Toward Overbuilding

Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines Pose Risk to Ratepayers, Communities, and Investors

We’ve published a report today that concludes that two natural gas pipelines proposed for construction from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina are indicative of a rush toward industry overbuilding. The study, “Risks Associated With Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion Across Appalachia,” examines the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would traverse West Virginia into eastern […]

April 27, 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 →

More News and Commentary

IEEFA U.S.: Two of Duke Energy’s plants in North Carolina reflect national trend in baseload slippage for coal

IEEFA U.S.: Two of Duke Energy’s plants in North Carolina reflect national trend in baseload slippage for coal

Cases in point: Mayo and Roxboro now operate at a fraction of their capacity

Plant closures grab most of the U.S. coal industry headlines lately, but an equally important story emerging from the data illustrates another facet of change sweeping the utility industry and its suppliers: Coal is losing its foothold as a baseload power resource. This shift is occurring nationally, but what’s happening in North Carolina is a […]

October 29, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

Utilities accelerate shutdown dates; 22 plants in 14 states this year; hard-hit regions include the Ohio River Valley

Oct. 25, 2018 — U.S. coal-fired power plant closures are on pace this year to set a record, concludes a research report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report — “Record Drop in U.S. Coal-Fired Capacity Likely in 2018: Utilities Are Accelerating Shutdown Dates as Plants Grow Increasingly Uneconomic”— […]

October 25, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA update: Big risk to taxpayers in FirstEnergy settlement on coal plants

IEEFA update: Big risk to taxpayers in FirstEnergy settlement on coal plants

Who will pay for cleanup and reclamation at sites in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia?

The overriding risk that remains from a federal court settlement this week around the FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy in Ohio is that taxpayers in three states will be left holding the bag on cleaning up after the company. This is no small-ticket item. It’s impossible to say what it will cost to decommission and do the […]

September 28, 2018 Read More →

FirstEnergy asks bankruptcy court for approval to shed liabilities for environmental clean-ups

Plain Dealer: CLEVELAND, Ohio — FirstEnergy’s share price hit a 52-week high Thursday morning as news of its proposed “definitive settlement” with its bankrupt subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions spread among investors. The settlement, filed this week in federal bankruptcy court, is FirstEnergy’s latest effort to shed itself of past and future financial responsibilities connected with FES […]

August 31, 2018 Read More →

WVU study sees continued decline in West Virginia coal production

WV Public Broadcasting: A new economic forecast shows the recent uptick in coal production is expected to level out during the next two years and decline precipitously during the next two decades. The annual coal production report, released today by West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, shows the recent uptick in coal […]

August 17, 2018 Read More →

Citing regulatory ‘capitulation,’ federal court blocks construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline through Virginia

Roanoke Times: A federal appeals court on Friday struck down two key decisions allowing a natural gas pipeline to slice through the Jefferson National Forest. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Sierra Club and other conservation groups that challenged approvals by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management […]

July 30, 2018 Read More →

West Virginia waste-coal plant on the edge of closing

Charleston Gazette-Mail: While the energy industry awaits specifics on President Donald Trump’s plan to bail out struggling coal and nuclear plants, one coal waste plant in Marion County is hoping to stay open through state-level proceedings. The Grant Town Power Plant is at risk of shutting down as its owner, American Bituminous Power Partners, has […]

July 3, 2018 Read More →

Trump tariffs threaten Chinese investments in West Virginia energy sector

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Brian Anderson was hoping not to be alone at the podium at the Westin Convention Center on Monday morning. He was hoping to be flanked by officials from China Energy Investment Corp. and to watch the crowd’s eyes widen as the CEO of the Chinese giant announced its first few projects in the […]

June 19, 2018 Read More →

Trump order to prop up coal plants will increase electricity bills in West Virginia

Charleston Gazette: As West Virginians continue to see their utility bills rise, the regional electric grid serving the state is among those warning that attempts by President Donald Trump’s administration to keep coal and nuclear power plants from closing will lead to higher electricity prices. Trump has ordered the U.S. Department of Energy to stop […]

June 11, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

Public Risk in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming

A report that came out last month from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recommends that Congress eliminate the risky system of self-bonding by coal-mining companies. But the report also raises concerns about the financial stability of surety-bond companies, a much more common form of reclamation bonding, as well as problems with underfunding for mine cleanup costs. […]

April 20, 2018 Read More →