US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: Fund trustees face growing fiduciary pressure to divest from fossil fuels

Oil, gas, and coal industries are seen as ‘increasingly speculative;’ Sector will continue to be weighed down by lackluster rewards and daunting risks; A ‘proper financial response’ is due

July 10, 2018 (IEEFA) — A paper published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis details the growing rationale for divesting from the fossil fuel industry. The paper—“The Financial Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment”—is aimed primarily at trustees of investment funds that continue to hold stakes in a sector that is freighted […]

IEEFA Update: Push to Keep Navajo Generating Station Alive in Deal With Arizona Water Distributor Is Fraught With Risk

IEEFA Update: Push to Keep Navajo Generating Station Alive in Deal With Arizona Water Distributor Is Fraught With Risk

Research Brief: Regardless of Ownership, Outlook for Southwest U.S. Coal-Fired Electricity Plant Is Bleaker Than Ever

April 11, 2018 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a research brief today that finds the financial outlook for coal-fired Navajo Generating Station is bleaker than it was when the plant’s utility owners announced last year it would be retired in 2019. The plant’s owners—Arizona Public Service Company, the Salt River Project, […]

April 11, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Report: U.S. Coal Market Erosion Continues

IEEFA Report: U.S. Coal Market Erosion Continues

Lower Production and Consumption as Industry Fails to Compete; a Likely Doubling of Plant Retirements; Low Natural Gas Prices Will Persist; Renewables Will Gain; Little Effect Seen from Regulatory Relief

Feb 1, 2018 (IEEFA) — The U.S. coal industry continued to shrink in 2017, and its trend toward long-term structural decline is all but sure to persist, concludes a study published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report—“U.S. Coal: More Market Erosion Is on the Way”—details how competition from cheap […]

February 1, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]

IEEFA Report: Kayenta Mine Is Unlikely to Find  New Customers Once Navajo Generating Station Closes

IEEFA Report: Kayenta Mine Is Unlikely to Find New Customers Once Navajo Generating Station Closes

A ‘Buyer Beware’ on Peabody Energy Property; Regional Demand for Coal Is in Decline; Export-Market Possibilities Are Bleak; Previous Recent Mine Deals Have Failed

June 29, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report today concluding that Peabody Energy’s Kayenta mine in northeast Arizona is not likely to find new customers or markets once its sole customer, Navajo Generating Station, closes. The Navajo Nation Council voted this week to approve a deal with […]

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 →

More News and Commentary

Maryland takes lead in forcing coal plants to clean up water discharges

The Baltimore Sun: Maryland is requiring three coal power plants to limit the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxic metals they release into the Potomac and Patuxent rivers starting in 2020, amid uncertainty over whether the federal government will address the discharges. State environmental regulators issued the new water discharge permits to the Chalk […]

August 15, 2018 Read More →

Trump administration continues to work on bailout for coal, nuclear plants

Bloomberg News: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is helping the Trump administration identify “critical” coal and nuclear power plants, a key step in the White House’s contentious plan to keep those facilities online in the name of national security. Anthony Pugliese, FERC’s chief of staff, told an American Nuclear Society conference this week that the […]

August 10, 2018 Read More →

Trade war with China to cost American coal producers

Reuters: At least four cargoes of U.S. coal worth $30 million are headed to China as Beijing prepares to hit imports with hefty 25-percent tariffs, threatening a niche supply of the fuel even as China’s appetite for foreign coal shows no sign of abating. The vessels, carrying a combined 335,000 tonnes of coal, are the […]

August 9, 2018 Read More →

Wisconsin utility exec: ‘It doesn’t make sense’ to keep coal plants online

WisBusiness.com: “Dan Krueger, senior vice president for WEC Energy Group, says “it doesn’t make sense” to keep running some coal plants as energy production shifts over to natural gas and renewables like wind and solar. He spoke yesterday on an energy industry panel at the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Policy Day 2018. WEC Energy Group […]

August 7, 2018 Read More →

Westmoreland Coal reports more losses

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Westmoreland Coal Co. reported a net loss of $191 million, or $9.91 per share, in the second quarter and cautioned investors that its master limited partnership does not have funds to repay a term loan that matures at the end of this year. Westmoreland Resource Partners’ filings for the fourth […]

August 7, 2018 Read More →

U.S. coal company works behind the scenes to thwart Lake Erie wind-energy project

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Boaters and birders have been upfront about their opposition to the six-turbine Icebreaker Wind project planned for Lake Erie, but a new, powerful voice of resistance has recently emerged: Big Coal. In documents and sworn statements filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday, the wind farm developers presented evidence that […]

August 6, 2018 Read More →

Legal setback for coal industry on federal leases in Montana and Wyoming

Associated Press: A federal judge in Montana has given the Trump administration until late 2019 to analyze reductions to mining in the nation’s most productive coal fields as a way to fight climate change. The order from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, issued Tuesday, applies to the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The […]

August 3, 2018 Read More →

As Murray Energy skirts bankruptcy, CEO says investors need not fret

S&P Global Intelligence ($): Murray Energy Corp. will continue to deliver its businesses to weather the impact of shrunken domestic coal demand and has mitigated the potential consequences of a subsidiary’s bankruptcy by finding new customers, Chairman, CEO and President Robert Murray said. He also told S&P Global Market Intelligence that Murray Energy, along with […]

July 30, 2018 Read More →

More wind helps Texas grid weather heat wave

KUT: Take a rapidly growing state, add a scorching heat wave, and you have a recipe for historically high electricity use. So it was that Texas broke the record for power demand three times in the last week. Through it all, the state’s electric grid operated without major disruption. That success nevertheless revealed some interesting […]

July 26, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: A U.S. coal bailout wouldn’t stop electric sector transition

A blatant misuse of the law and a phony national-defense argument

It seems a waste of time and resources to call on a nearly 70-year-old defense law to rescue certain failing and outdated sectors of the energy industry. Yet that is precisely what has been proposed. The Trump administration is floating a plan to use the Defense Production Act of 1950, enacted as a drastic national-security measure to […]