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

IEEFA Update: A Case That Suggests Regulators Are Tiring of Campaigns to Bail Out Failing Power Plants

IEEFA Update: A Case That Suggests Regulators Are Tiring of Campaigns to Bail Out Failing Power Plants

FirstEnergy Throws in the Towel on Its Latest Play in West Virginia

It’s to the benefit of ratepayers that FirstEnergy this week announced that it will drop its scheme to transfer the Pleasants Power Station from deregulated subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply to West Virginia regulated subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison. The move would have shielded the coal-fired Pleasants plant from market competition, forcing West Virginia ratepayers […]

February 8, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Wishing Won’t Make it So: Industry ‘Action Plan’ for Federal Policy Changes Can’t Revive Coal Mining in U.S.

IEEFA Update: Wishing Won’t Make it So: Industry ‘Action Plan’ for Federal Policy Changes Can’t Revive Coal Mining in U.S.

Murray Energy Checklist Included Rolling Back Clean Power Plan, Changing Science Findings, Rewriting Tax Code to Disadvantage Renewables

For the first time last week, Bob Murray, the outspoken CEO of Murray Energy Corp., publicly discussed his company’s recently publicized wish list for actions that the federal government could take to support the coal industry.  Murray’s “Action Plan for the Administration of Donald J. Trump,” a once-secret document written almost a year ago, was released earlier […]

IEEFA Update: In Ruling Against Another Bailout Scheme by FirstEnergy, FERC Strikes a Blow Worth Hundreds of Millions for Ratepayers

IEEFA Update: In Ruling Against Another Bailout Scheme by FirstEnergy, FERC Strikes a Blow Worth Hundreds of Millions for Ratepayers

More Bad News for an Out-of-Step Electricity Company Struggling to Stave Off Bankruptcy

By rejecting a bailout maneuver last week in West Virginia by Ohio-based FirstEnergy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week ended up protecting Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers from incurring hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs over the next 15 years. FirstEnergy’s scheme would have transferred the Pleasants Power Station, which is […]

January 16, 2018 Read More →

FirstEnergy’s Pleasants Plant Deal would Hurt Competitiveness in West Virginia

West Virginia Gazette Mail: As Mon Power and Potomac Edison await approval to buy a Pleasants County power plant, an analysis backed by opposition parties says manufacturers, schools and hospitals in West Virginia will have to pay about $230 million more on their utility bills over 15 years if the deal goes through. Technical consultant […]

January 2, 2018 Read More →

West Virginia Mine Lays Off Most of Its Workers

Exponent Telegram (Clarksburg): A mine in Marion County has idled almost all its workers. Enough workers are on hand at the Federal No. 2 mine to prevent the mine from flooding and to keep it ready to reopen, but “it’s a minimal, skeletal crew,” said Phil Smith, communications director for the United Mine Workers of […]

December 6, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: FirstEnergy Plan for West Virginia Plant Would Have Ratepayers Foot the Bill

Charleston Gazette-Mail: There’s an old saying that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” The West Virginia Public Service Commission will soon make a decision that reveals whether it has learned that lesson. If not, hardworking West Virginians are in danger of footing the bill. At issue is FirstEnergy’s […]

November 20, 2017 Read More →

The Economic Case for Solar, Not the Climate-Change Case, Is Driving Its Uptake Across the Southern U.S.

InsideClimate News: When Brandon Presley was elected to the Mississippi Public Service Commission in 2007, he said, he couldn’t have found a solar farm “with a SWAT team and a search warrant.” A decade later, Mississippi is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the United States, according to GTM Research. The state’s public service […]

November 6, 2017 Read More →

‘Four Pinocchios’ for President’s Claim of a Turnaround in West Virginia

Washington Post: Even though Trump claims he has “turned West Virginia around,” the trends aren’t expected to last. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University estimated the state’s GDP growth to average 1.0 percent per year over the next five years and employment to grow 0.7 percent — well below national […]

November 1, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deaths

Charleston (W.V.) Gazette: The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction, the court announced Tuesday. Justices turned down Blankenship’s petition, including it on a weekly order list of more than 200 cases in which a request for a “writ of certiorari” — the […]

October 11, 2017 Read More →

West Virginia Weighs FirstEnergy’s Bid to Pass Risk to Ratepayers

Charleston Gazette: The state Public Service Commission began to hear testimony Tuesday in a hotly contested and controversial case over FirstEnergy’s effort to transfer one of its coal-fired power plants to a West Virginia subsidiary, a move that consumer advocates and environmental groups say is aimed at unloading an uncompetitive generation station onto ratepayers in […]

September 27, 2017 Read More →