US Coal Markets

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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More News and Commentary

IEEFA Webinar Today: Why Coal Industry Bailouts Won’t Work

2:00 p.m. ET

David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis, looks at the market forces causing a core shift in U.S. electricity-generation trends. The webinar is open to the first 100 callers. If you cannot make the call, the presentation will be recorded and shared on IEEFA’s YouTube channel the following day.    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts research and analyses on […]

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On the Blogs: Call for Investment in Coal Communities Abandoned by Trump

JustTransition.org: The initiative announced today is timely and urgently needed, as federal support for coal communities is winding down,” said Heidi Binko, executive director and co-founder of the Just Transition Fund. “As the Trump administration abandons crucial economic development programs, like the POWER Initiative, philanthropy and the private sector must do more to fill the […]

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Op-Ed: A Road to Nowhere

Seattle Times: The reality is that the economic prospects for West Coast coal exports have collapsed. China’s demand for coal, which once seemed limitless, has been falling for three consecutive years. India’s coal imports fell last year and are projected to drop even further as the country increasingly taps domestic coal reserves to fuel its […]

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Little Effect Seen in Trump Energy-Policy Rhetoric

Deutsche Welle: Trump signed an executive order that removes several restrictions on fossil fuel production. It was a move that broke with leaders across the world who are embracing cleaner energy sources, and was met with cries of protest internationally. The order has kept to Trump’s campaign pledge to undo former-president Barack Obama’s efforts to curb global warming, by […]

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West Virginia Utility CEO Acknowledges Demand for Renewables

Associated Press: New Appalachian Power Co. President Chris Beam says the utility doesn’t plan to build coal plants anytime soon and that electricity from renewable energy sources is what potential business customers want. Beam is a Wheeling native who understands the role of coal in West Virginia’s economy and culture. He said Appalachian Power still […]

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On the Blogs: Trump Seeks Evisceration of Coal-Community Investment Initiatives

Center for American Progress: Trump campaigned on promises to revitalize the U.S. coal industry and bring back coal mining jobs. On March 28, he signed an executive order that began the process of rolling back key federal efforts, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from the U.S. […]

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On the Blogs: 30-Million-Ton Ripple as U.S. Coal Declines

CleanTechnica.com: The United States is closing 46 coal-fired generating units at 25 electricity plants across 16 states over the next few years, transitioning to natural gas or intentionally closing them, and a new report shows that this will likely result in eliminating about 30 million tons of annual coal demand by the end of 2018. […]

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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 […]

Read More →

Industry Intensifies U.S. ‘Clean Coal’ Campaign

SNL: A broad coalition of energy industry leaders are urging President Donald Trump and Congress to include carbon capture and sequestration projects and CO2 pipelines in a national infrastructure initiative. “The expansion of carbon capture from industrial facilities and power plants can enable use of America’s abundant coal, oil and natural gas resources while reducing […]

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Citing Market Forces, New Mexico’s Power Company Announces Plan to ‘Get Entirely Out of Coal’

Albuquerque Journal: Public Service Company of New Mexico is proposing to shed all of its coal-fired electricity in the next 14 years and replace it with solar, wind, natural gas and nuclear power. The company’s latest integrated resource plan – which looks out over 20 years to determine the cheapest, most reliable and environmentally friendly […]

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