Powder River Basin Coal

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 […]

As Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Powder River Basin Mines Are Losing Their Largest Customers

Trends Will Force Closures and Complicate Efforts by Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy to Work Their Way Out of Bankruptcy

CLEVELAND, Aug. 3, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis today published a report detailing how Powder River Basin coal producers are losing their largest customers as Texas power producers turn increasingly to other sources of energy. The report, “Texas’ Outsize Role in the Decline of the Powder River Basin Coal […]

August 2, 2016 Read More →
The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

Appoint a Price-Setting Commission; Ban Exports; Cancel Some Leases; Eliminate Self-Bonding; Mandate Set-Asides for Mine Clean-up and Miner Pensions; Require Twice-a-Year Audits; Assume Smaller Markets

It’s time for the U.S. to modernize how it manages its publicly owned coal reserves. That’s the essence of comments we’ve filed today with the Department of the Interior as it begins a review of its federal coal-leasing program in the Powder River Basin, a program that has been mismanaged for years at taxpayer expense […]

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known


IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known


Costs to Ratepayers Stand to Increase if Puget Sound Keeps Two Coal-Fired Plants Alive

In testimony today to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia, Wash., we are presenting fresh analyses that shows how two coal-fired electricity generators in Montana co-owned by Puget Sound Energy are worse investments  than previously known. Over the past several months, IEEFA has documented how Colstrip 1 and 2 have become an increasingly […]

If Peabody Is to Recover, It Must Close More Mines

If Peabody Is to Recover, It Must Close More Mines

The World’s Biggest Private-Sector Coal Company’s Current Turnaround Strategy Won’t Work

Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal-mining company in the world, is out with a dismal review today of its 2015 performance. The metrics unto themselves are damning, and Peabody’s plan for turning things around is even worse. In a report we’ve just published (with the Seattle-based Sightline Institute)—“Peabody’s Strategies for Survival Ignore Market Realities and Risks […]

February 11, 2016 Read More →
As the BLM Begins Coal-Lease ‘Listening Sessions,’ a Few Hard Truths Must Be Heard

As the BLM Begins Coal-Lease ‘Listening Sessions,’ a Few Hard Truths Must Be Heard

Ban Coal Exports From the Powder River Basin, for Starters, and Impose a Moratorium on Taxpayer-Subsidized Leases

U.S. taxpayers own the largest remaining domestic coal reserves in the country, valuable resources that sit in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming and that are vital to the energy security of our country. The federal government, sad to say, has been an almost pathologically passive overseer of these resources (read more about […]

August 11, 2015 Read More →
Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

June 23, 2015 Read More →
Comments on Proposed Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, ONRR-2012-0004-0024

Comments on Proposed Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, ONRR-2012-0004-0024

COAL SOLD FOR EXPORT SHOULD NOT BE EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL ROYALTY PAYMENTS

Comments on Proposed Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, ONRR-2012-0004-0024 By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

May 7, 2015 Read More →
Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, IEEFA  

November 19, 2014 Read More →

More News and Commentary

U.S. Ruling a Likely Landmark in Requiring Federal Agencies to Factor Climate Risk Into Policy Decisions

The Hill: A federal court faulted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Friday for what it said were incorrect assumptions about the climate change impact of mining four coal tracts in Wyoming and the use of that coal. The BLM concluded in 2010 that if companies were not allowed to mine the coal on federal […]

September 18, 2017 Read More →

Montana Coal Industry, With Nowhere to Go but Up, Reports a Production Increase Over Last year

Billings Gazette: “Certainly what we’ve seen is an increase in our sales to our Asia customers primarily in South Korea and Japan,” said Rick Curtsinger, Cloud Peak Energy spokesman. “Last year by the end of the second quarter, we had shipped 200,000 tons of coal to our Asia customers. This year as of June 30, […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Decoding Glenn Kellow’s Peabody Recovery Strategy (Subsidies, Handouts, Giveaways)

IEEFA Update: Decoding Glenn Kellow’s Peabody Recovery Strategy (Subsidies, Handouts, Giveaways)

A Major Coal CEO Sees Market Intervention as the Only Way Forward

Ask Glenn Kellow his vision for how the coal industry will stage—much less sustain—a comeback and this is what you get: “We not only need to change the playbook, we need to change the entire game.” And: “We’re calling for a two-year moratorium on coal plant retirements, a leveling of the playing field with renewables, […]

August 25, 2017 Read More →

In Blocking Montana Mine Enlargement, Judge Sees Company as ‘Inflating the Benefits of the Action While Minimizing Its Impacts’

Associated Press: A federal judge has blocked a proposed 176-million ton (159 million-metric ton) expansion of a central Montana coal mine in a ruling that criticized U.S. officials for downplaying the climate change impacts of the project and inflating its economic benefits. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued an order Monday barring Signal Peak Energy […]

August 22, 2017 Read More →
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 →

Subsidizing Declining Appalachian Coal Seen as Having ‘Marginal’ Effect

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Appalachian coal, high in sulfur and costly to mine, has been losing market share to other American coal-producing regions for years. Looking to stem the tide, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week proposed that the federal government subsidize coal-fired power plants that buy from Appalachian mines by $15 a ton, up […]

August 18, 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 →
IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard
and

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 […]

On the Blogs: U.S. Policy Reversal on Federally Owned Coal Will Cost Taxpayers $75 Million a Year

ThinkProgress: The Trump administration’s decision not to close a loophole that allowed energy companies to sell coal, oil, and natural gas at significantly depressed prices will cost taxpayers $75 million per year, a fact the administration itself acknowledged in a Federal Register notice published Monday. The Department of the Interior’s decision to repeal the Obama-era […]

August 7, 2017 Read More →