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

Judge rules climate risk needs to be considered in Montana coal mine expansion

Associated Press: U.S. officials have again been faulted by a federal judge for failing to adequately consider the potential climate change effects of expanding a massive coal mine in the sagebrush-covered hills of southeastern Montana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan recommended in a Monday ruling that the Interior Department be given 240 days to re-analyze […]

February 14, 2019 Read More →

Wyoming landowners sue state over coal company bonding claims

Casper Star Tribune: A northern Wyoming landowners’ group is suing the state for declining to prove that $27 million in ranchland used as collateral for a coal mine’s cleanup is really worth that much money. The dispute concerns Blackjewel LLC, a relative newcomer to Wyoming coal country. The firm announced that it had acquired Eagle […]

February 11, 2019 Read More →

Peabody plans more cutbacks in U.S. coal production

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): In the face of recent operational setbacks and troubling global economic indicators, Peabody Energy Corp. told investors it is focusing on “value over volume” with sharp reductions in U.S. thermal coal production but increased attention to its metallurgical coal operations in the U.S. and Australia, as well as the country’s […]

February 7, 2019 Read More →

Industry analysts, executives: Coal consolidation is coming, question is when

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): While U.S. coal producers are hesitant to invest in new capacity at the moment, several industry professionals said at a recent energy event that they do not foresee widespread consolidation any time soon. Michael Bauersachs, president and CEO of Ramaco Resources Inc., said that in a “difficult environment” where the […]

February 4, 2019 Read More →

Troubled Wyoming coal company to pay executive bonuses early

Casper Star Tribune: Cloud Peak Energy executives won’t have to wait for bonuses from their troubled coal company. The Wyoming firm, one of the state’s largest producers of coal, announced Tuesday that it was ditching gradually-paid retention plans agreed upon in November in favor of lump-sum payments to entice its executive team to stay. Cloud […]

January 30, 2019 Read More →

U.S. coal companies continue to lose market value

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The 12 largest publicly traded U.S. coal producers lost 16.6% of their total market value since September 2018, with just one seeing an increase during the period. The companies’ total market capitalization was $12.68 billion on Sept. 27, 2018, and $10.58 billion as of Jan. 8, 2019, according to data […]

January 11, 2019 Read More →

More troubles for Powder River Basin’s Cloud Peak Energy

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Cloud Peak Energy Inc. will be removed from the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the opening of trading on Jan. 3. The pure-play Powder River Basin coal mining company is ranked near the bottom of the S&P Dow Jones Indices’ index and is no longer representative of the small-cap marketplace, […]

December 21, 2018 Read More →

Analyst sees few options for troubled Cloud Peak coal company

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Struggling coal producer Cloud Peak Energy Inc. recently announced a strategic review of options that include selling the company, but a bleak outlook for Powder River Basin coal and a looming debt maturity could make for a tough sales pitch. Cloud Peak is the only pure-play Powder River Basin coal […]

November 16, 2018 Read More →

After exec bonuses and cuts to worker benefits, U.S. coal miner Cloud Peak weighs sale

Wyoming Public Radio: Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest coal producers in the country with two mines in Wyoming, announced today it will review strategic alternatives which include a potential sale of the company. The announcement comes after company stock shares hit a 52-week low today at $1.32. That’s nearly half of its value […]

November 14, 2018 Read More →

Powder River Basin coal production continues falling

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Coal mines in the Powder River Basin bounced back from the rain-soaked second quarter, increasing production 18.9% in the third quarter, but still saw year-over-year declines. Ten of the top 16 mines reported production decreases from 2017, lowering the region’s output by 5% to 86.6 million tons, according to data […]

November 13, 2018 Read More →