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

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 →

West Virginia Reconsiders Its Permit for 300-Mile Mountain Valley Pipeline

Charleston Gazette: Faced with a deadline to defend their permit approval against a federal court challenge, West Virginia regulators moved this week to back off their certification that the Mountain Valley Pipeline would not violate the state’s water quality standards. The state Department of Environmental Protection said in a Thursday letter to the pipeline developers […]

September 11, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Risk Is Being Borne Not by Dominion and Duke, but by Their Customers

IEEFA Update: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Risk Is Being Borne Not by Dominion and Duke, but by Their Customers

Little Potential Corporate Loss on a Superfluous Project

Dominion Resources and Duke Energy say they need to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to meet rapidly growing demand for natural gas. But will the market really grow in the way that these utilities say that it will? The pipeline, announced in 2014 as a joint venture between Dominion, Duke, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL […]

September 8, 2017 Read More →

Testimony: FirstEnergy Takeover of West Virginia Plant Would Cost Customers $470 Million

Gazette Mail (Charleston): A proposed deal for FirstEnergy subsidiaries to acquire a coal-fired power plant would likely cost customers $470 million over the next 15 years, according to testimony from an energy and environmental consultant filed with the state Public Service Commission Friday. David Schlissel, president of Schlissel Technical Consulting, submitted his prepared testimony on […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →

FirstEnergy, Failing on Its Own, Seeks a Multimillion Hand Up Now From Customers

Parkersburg (W.V.) News & Sentinel: The first of three hearings in front of the West Virginia Public Service Commission is scheduled for this Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Parkersburg City Council Chambers. The power company is hoping you stay home. FirstEnergy is seeking approval for its MonPower and Potomac Edison subsidiaries to buy the Pleasants […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →