US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

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 →
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

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 →

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 →

U.S. Coal Exec Sees Market Glut Continuing

SNL: “When I look at the market right now … it’s a difficult and challenging market environment,” Foresight President and CEO Robert Moore said on an earnings call. “It continues to be. It has been, and I believe that it will continue to be.” Moore said that while there has been a reduction in utility […]

August 14, 2017 Read More →

Kentucky Coal Producer Armstrong Energy Near Bankruptcy

SNL: With an Aug. 14 deadline looming to make an interest payment, Armstrong Energy Inc. released its second-quarter earnings with warnings to investors that it is likely to default on other debt and faces a real threat of bankruptcy. Armstrong reported a net loss of about $17.2 million for the second quarter, compared to a […]

August 14, 2017 Read More →
and

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 →

Editorial: Countering Trump’s Fiction

Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, Colo.): As the Washington Post reported in March, at least six plants that relied on coal have closed or announced they will close since Trump’s victory in November, including the main plant at the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, the largest in the West. Another 40 are projected to close during […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →

Layoffs at Mine That Supplied Costly Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment

Associated Press: The company that supplies lignite coal to Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant says it will lay off 75 workers at the mine. It’s the latest fallout from the suspending the part of the plant that was supposed to gasify coal and remove pollutants. Mississippi Power has said it could lay off […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →

‘We Think Coal Is Going to Zero’

Forbes: Coal-fired power plants employ more people than mines, and they’re shutting down all over the country. Coal-fired plants employed 86,035 people in the U.S. last year. That may not seem like a huge amount in a country of some 150 million workers but it’s 16 percent more than the number employed at mines, according […]

August 11, 2017 Read More →