Commentary

IEEFA Update: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

IEEFA Update: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

Broad Indexes Are Up in the Short, Long and Medium Term; Coal Indexes Are Not; Little Indication Producers’ Performance Will Improve

If stock prices are any measure of a company or industry’s success or failure, the coal industry has been failing now for 10 years.     The recent progress noted by many companies in their second-quarter earnings reports notwithstanding—production increases, slight improvements in profit margins, some increases in exports via East Coast ports, and purportedly […]

August 18, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Open Talk of Transition

Utility Executives Speak of ‘Greening the Fleet’; a Coal-Subsidy Scheme Backfires; Clean-Energy Lobbyists in Washington

A remarkable bit of news surfaced this week through SNL—the trade publication, not the comedy show—in an article that cobbled together recent U.S. utility-industry earnings calls that had a strikingly common theme: CEOs talking openly now about getting out of coal. Several even “seem excited” to be doing so, among them the chief executives of […]

August 18, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Even Coal-Mining Companies Are Complaining About the Price They Pay for Coal-Fired Electricity

Anecdotes of Note, and Some Irony, in Company Filings

Public filings by U.S. coal-mining companies disclose vast data that is crucial to investors—which is the point of having such information publicly available. They also yield revealing anecdotal notes that add perspective and depth to the numbers, and that include wrinkles of irony sometimes. Some coal-fired power has gotten so expensive that coal producers are […]

August 15, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Australia: The Odds Against Adani’s Mega-Mine Are Growing
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IEEFA Australia: The Odds Against Adani’s Mega-Mine Are Growing

Project Remains Unbankable and Cannot Proceed Without Government Subsidies

Last week’s news that Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest, has ruled out financing for the proposed Carmichael project because of the climate risk it comes with is but the latest in the long drip of events adding to the probability the mega-mine-and-rail complex will never be built. In fact our view has only hardened that Carmichael […]

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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 →
IEEFA Indonesia: A Potential Overcommitment to Coal-Fired Electricity Puts a Nation at Risk

IEEFA Indonesia: A Potential Overcommitment to Coal-Fired Electricity Puts a Nation at Risk

Out of Step With a Global Shift in the Energy Economy

We’ve just published a report that calls into serious question Indonesia’s plans to expand its commitment to coal-fired electricity generation. The report—“Overpaid and Underutilized: How Capacity Payments Could Lock Indonesia Into a High-Cost Electricity Future”—analyzes Indonesia’s 2017-26 national energy blueprint and shows how long-term coal power contracts that the country is contemplating will not just […]

August 10, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard
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IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard

Companies Are Cancelling Applications for New Leases on Public Lands or Seeking Delays; Presidential Pronouncements Seem Little More Than Symbolic

Its reversal earlier this year of a moratorium on federal coal leases put into place last fall by President Obama got the Trump administration lots of applause from the industry. It got more this week for rescinding a rule that came onto the books several months ago in a federal policy change meant to end […]

IEEFA Update: A Sense of Desperation in Global Coal-Expansion Campaigns

Investors Grow Wary of Reputational, Regulatory and Return Risk

Coal apologists the world over like to cite spurious “facts” to support their argument for new investments in coal projects. A commonly heard theme: We need more coal because it’s cheap. In Australia, the government’s chief scientist’s call for a national “clean energy target” has set off a wave of highly dubious claims about coal […]

August 4, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Something in the Wind

U.S. Nuclear Industry Reconsiders Expansion; Utility Exec Sees Less Risk in Turbine Farm Than Coal; Keystone XL Doesn’t Pencil Out Anymore

It’s de rigueur anymore for energy companies across the board to play up their clean-energy commitments—actual or just advertised—but executives at American Electric Power put some of their money where their mouths were in announcing intentions last week to invest $4.5 billion in the new Wind Catcher farm in Oklahoma. AEP’s logic is rooted in […]

August 4, 2017 Read More →