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 […]

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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

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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

Read More →

Op-Ed: ‘A Career in Coal Geology Tells Me West Virginia Must Bank on New Industries’

Charleston Gazette: I am a retired geologist who has invested most of my professional career to the study of coal geology in Appalachia. These studies included, but were not limited to, geologic controls on the origin of coal and coal-bearing strata; geological and chemical characteristics of coal that effect coal cleaning; and mineral and chemical […]

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Solar Emerges in West Virginia

American Prospect: It’s taken awhile to get Solar Holler off the ground. So far, crowdfunding has produced nearly 80 kilowatts of solar energy across West Virginia, enough to power only ten homes—but the company is rapidly expanding. In 2017, Solar Holler expects to install a minimum of 750 kilowatts, equal to nearly a sixth of […]

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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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