US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Report: ‘Payment for a Job Well Done,’ a Transition Plan in Anticipation of Shutdowns of Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine

IEEFA Report: ‘Payment for a Job Well Done,’ a Transition Plan in Anticipation of Shutdowns of Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine

Initiative to Limit Job Losses and Community Disruption; Investing in Economic Growth Rather Than Subsidizing Northern Arizona's Failing Coal Industry

June 6, 2017 (IEEFA.org) – The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) today published a report outlining an economic- growth strategy for a region that stands to be set back severely by the closure of the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta coal mine. The proposal—“A Transition Plan for Communities Affected by the […]

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 Texas: The Beginning of the End for Coal-Fired Electricity Across One of the Biggest Power Markets in the U.S.

IEEFA Texas: The Beginning of the End for Coal-Fired Electricity Across One of the Biggest Power Markets in the U.S.

Report Finds Seven Plants Emblematic of a Fading Industry

We published a research report today describing how the coal-fired electricity industry in Texas is in decline and unlikely to recover in the face of rising competition from other energy sources. Our report—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes in Energy Markets Are Undermining the Financial Viability of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Texas”—looks specifically at […]

September 12, 2016 Read More →

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 […]

For U.S. Coal, Market Realities Grow Increasingly Harsh

For U.S. Coal, Market Realities Grow Increasingly Harsh

Debt Hurdles, Reclamation and Pension Challenges, Abandonment by Hedge Funds

We distributed a briefing note this week that delves into some of the many pressing difficulties confronting U.S. coal producers. In the note (“Struggling U.S. Coal Companies Face Debt Hurdles, Complications From Reclamation and Pension Obligations, Pressure from Hedge Funds”) we talk about how the cumulative impacts of the industry’s many mounting liabilities—reclamation costs, pension […]

More News and Commentary

Report: Expansion of Renewables Isn’t Undermining U.S. Grid Stability

Utility Dive: The Analysis Group’s research concludes the transition to a cleaner mix of fuels is not harming the reliability of the power grid. The new analysis comes ahead of a similar study the U.S. Department of Energy is expected to release this month, addressing whether clean energy policies are forcing coal and nuclear plants […]

June 21, 2017 Read More →

Recently Shuttered Virginia Coal Plant Is Resuscitated Under New Federal Energy Policy Directive

Newport News Daily Press: Two months after being shut down, Dominion Energy Virginia’s two coal-burning units at the Yorktown power plant have received new life, a life that Dominion and its electric grid manager assure is temporary. Thanks to an emergency order by the Department of Energy, the two coal-burning units will be available to […]

June 21, 2017 Read More →

Analyst: U.S. Coal Industry Must Consolidate

SNL: The coal industry is “too fragmented” to command pricing power and is in need of consolidation, according to a new note from Seaport Global Securities LLC analysts. Analyst Mark Levin wrote in a June 20 note that the industry has “too many suppliers chasing too few tons.” The report cites a recent claim that […]

June 21, 2017 Read More →

Letter to the Editor: What Happened to Ohio Shouldn’t Happen in Arizona

Gallup (N.M.) Independent: The Navajo Generating Station is thousands of miles away from my community of Galion, Ohio. But recent news around the difficulties of the coal-fired power plant in Arizona, which gets its coal from a Peabody Energy mine, reminds me of what happened here in Galion. Our small Ohio City, along with 200 […]

June 20, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Doubts in West Virginia About Coal Resurgence

ThinkProgress.org: West Virginian historian Chuck Keeney, who has written extensively on the state’s coal industry and its miners, said he has not seen a noticeable change in the mood of the state’s residents since Trump became president. “A lot of West Virginians understood that they were rolling the dice with Trump,” explained Keeney, a professor […]

June 19, 2017 Read More →

‘Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think’

Bloomberg News: Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast. That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. The […]

June 16, 2017 Read More →

Entrenched Downturn in Southwestern Coal Industry

SNL: Coal production and jobs in the southwestern United States have declined precipitously over the past five years as the industry has dealt with numerous setbacks. Mines in the Uinta Basin and the Four Corners area and other mines in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California have suffered from toughened state regulations and […]

June 15, 2017 Read More →

Proposal Offers a Transition Plan for Regional Economy Affected by Closure of Navajo Generating Station

KJZZ Phoenix: The impending closure of the Navajo Generating Station in Navajo Country in northern Arizona could be devastating for the region. More than 600 jobs are on the line — as well as millions in losses to the Navajo and Hopi tribes. But the coal plant and the mine that supports it are not […]

June 14, 2017 Read More →

More Declines in Montana Coal Production

Billings Gazette via RTO Insider: Montana coal mines are entering a second straight year of historically low production, industry records show. Coal numbers through the first four months of 2017 show Montana mines producing a third less coal than they did just two years ago. Through April, Montana mines had produced 9.8 million tons of […]

June 14, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs
and

IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs

Transition in Local and Regional Energy Economies Calls for a Strategy to Promote Growth, Replace Jobs and Sustain Fiscal Budgets

In a research report we published in January, we explained how the U.S. coal industry will very likely continue its overall decline in a trend that will be accompanied by both employment and market volatility. A passage from that report (“Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals”): “Some mine openings and some attendant hirings […]