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 →
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 →
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

Plea for 2-Year Moratorium on U.S. Coal Plant Closings Lands With a Thud

Associated Press: The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him. The Energy Department says it considered issuing the order sought by companies seeking relief for plants it says are […]

August 22, 2017 Read More →

Backlash in Wyoming Over Subsidy to Eastern U.S. Coal Producers

Casper Star-Tribune: A proposal to use federal money to help boost the coal industry in the eastern United States is raising protests from Wyoming. Wyoming Mining Association Executive Director Travis Deti says he thinks it’s “misguided” to provide federal support to a particular region over another. Deti says Wyoming coal would be at a competitive […]

August 15, 2017 Read More →

Competitors Don’t Like West Virginia Governor’s Proposal for Federal Subsidy to Coal Producers in His State

Bloomberg BNA: Coal companies from outside Appalachia, and the Republicans in Congress representing them, are taking a dim view of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s efforts to win a $4.5 billion subsidy for eastern coal. To those non-Appalachian coal companies, Justice’s request for a $15 per ton subsidy to power plants that burn regional coal […]

August 14, 2017 Read More →
and

IEEFA Update: In West Virginia Governor’s Scheme, a Bailout Disguised as a National-Security Program That Would Cost Taxpayers $60 Billion Over Five Years

A Flimsy and Dangerous Rationale Rooted in a Denial of Modern Energy Market Trends

Just how big a giveaway to the Appalachian coal industry is West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talking about as he lobbies the White House for a $15-per-ton subsidy for coal producers in the region? Central and Northern Appalachia coal fields produced 167 million tons in 2016, which not incidentally was its lowest year of production […]

IEEFA Update: U.S. Coal Country Candor—What Would Raylan Givens Do?

Justice Prevailed on ‘Justified.’ But Only Because Somebody Stood Up for It.

What becomes now of the America of straight-talking, tough-but-fair Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, the hero (and sometimes anti-hero) of the late great Elmore Leonard? Givens was the central character in the AMC show “Justified,” a series that ran for six strong seasons before ending in 2015. It was built largely off a classic Leonard […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →

Contura, Citing Weak Investor Interest, Pulls Its IPO

Bloomberg News: Contura Energy Inc., which inherited some of Alpha Natural Resources Inc.’s best coal mines during that company’s bankruptcy, has withdrawn a plan for an initial public offering amid lackluster demand from potential investors. Contura’s decision underscores how cautious Wall Street has been about investing in the U.S. coal sector, despite a rebound following […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →

West Virginia Governor Seeks $15-Per-Ton Federal Subsidy for Struggling Appalachian Coal Producers

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a coal baron and former Democrat who switched parties last week to side with President Donald Trump, is now calling for a $15-per-ton coal subsidy from the federal government, a local news site reported. Justice says the subsidy is needed for national security reasons. It’s hard to square Justice’s proposal […]

August 9, 2017 Read More →

Structural Decline of West Virginia Coal Industry Means Expectations Must Be Reset

Ashton Marra for West Virginia Public Broadcasting: On this West Virginia Morning, the coal industry in West Virginia has been struggling, but over the past several months, revenues from coal severance taxes have increased for the state. That’s because of increased demand overseas, says West Virginia University Research Assistant Professor Brian Lego. Lego is a […]

July 14, 2017 Read More →

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 →