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

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 →

West Virginia Utility Exec: ‘We’re Not Going to Build Any More Coal Plants’

Quartz: Appalachian Power, “The governor asked me, ‘I’d like you to burn more coal,’” Beam said. according to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail. “Well, we don’t have any more coal plants. We’re not going to build any more coal plants. That’s not going to happen.” This isn’t an issue of pollution controls, however; Customers and economics […]

May 2, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Call for Investment in Coal Communities Abandoned by Trump

JustTransition.org: The initiative announced today is timely and urgently needed, as federal support for coal communities is winding down,” said Heidi Binko, executive director and co-founder of the Just Transition Fund. “As the Trump administration abandons crucial economic development programs, like the POWER Initiative, philanthropy and the private sector must do more to fill the […]

April 26, 2017 Read More →

West Virginia Utility CEO Acknowledges Demand for Renewables

Associated Press: New Appalachian Power Co. President Chris Beam says the utility doesn’t plan to build coal plants anytime soon and that electricity from renewable energy sources is what potential business customers want. Beam is a Wheeling native who understands the role of coal in West Virginia’s economy and culture. He said Appalachian Power still […]

April 25, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Trump Seeks Evisceration of Coal-Community Investment Initiatives

Center for American Progress: Trump campaigned on promises to revitalize the U.S. coal industry and bring back coal mining jobs. On March 28, he signed an executive order that began the process of rolling back key federal efforts, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from the U.S. […]

April 24, 2017 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 →