US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

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 →
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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IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

IEEFA Update: Taxpayer Exposure to U.S. Coal Reclamation Costs Runs Deep

Public Risk in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming

A report that came out last month from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recommends that Congress eliminate the risky system of self-bonding by coal-mining companies. But the report also raises concerns about the financial stability of surety-bond companies, a much more common form of reclamation bonding, as well as problems with underfunding for mine cleanup costs. […]

April 20, 2018 Read More →

U.S. Coal Producers About to Lose More Business

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): U.S. coal producers will soon need to find new customers or mine less coal, as a sizable chunk of the sector’s 2017 deliveries went to customers with plans to retire their operations within four years. About 27.7 million tons, equal to 3.6% of the coal produced in the United States […]

April 20, 2018 Read More →

Drop in Domestic Coal Use Cuts Into CSX Revenue

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Domestic natural gas competition contributed to a year-over-year drop in coal revenue for CSX Corp. in the first quarter, but the company said it will “run the wheels off the railcars” to move as much export coal as possible to meet high overseas demand. CSX shipped 12.3 million tons of coal to […]

April 19, 2018 Read More →

Trump Team Looks to War Statute to Help Coal Industry

Bloomberg:  Months into the Korean War, President Harry Truman capped wages and imposed price controls on the steel industry, seizing authority under a newly passed law to take action in the name of national defense. Now, more than a half century later, Trump administration officials are considering using the same statute to keep struggling coal […]

April 19, 2018 Read More →

West Virginia Senators Push Tax Subsidy Plan for Coal Plants

WVNews: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are pushing legislation that would give tax breaks to help keep coal-fired power plants in operation. On Monday, Capito introduced the Electricity Reliability and Fuel Security Act, which would provide a temporary tax credit for existing coal-fired power plants to help cover a portion […]

April 18, 2018 Read More →

Vistra CEO: Coal Is ‘On Its Way Out’

CNBC: Coal is becoming a less competitive energy source with cheaper options like natural gas and other renewables on the market, Vistra Energy CEO Curtis Morgan told CNBC on Monday. “I don’t believe [coal] is going to have a renaissance,” Morgan said in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “I think it’s on its way out. As much […]

April 17, 2018 Read More →

China Moves to Slow Coal Imports

Reuters: The price of seaborne thermal coal in Asia may come under pressure as China moves to impose some import restrictions on imports of the polluting fuel. Several ports in southern and eastern China have introduced controls on coal imports, ranging from bans on unloadings to tightening customs clearances. Among ports banning imports is the […]

April 17, 2018 Read More →

PG&E CEO Says Coal Is A Relic Of The Past

CNN: Burning coal used to be the primary way power companies generated the electricity needed to cool homes, run factories and brighten streets. But US electricity production is changing dramatically, as companies rely more on natural gas and renewable energy sources. “I don’t think coal is the future. I really don’t,” Geisha Williams, CEO of PG&E […]

April 13, 2018 Read More →
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 Update: After Restatement of Reserves, U.S. Coal Investment Rationale Gets Weaker

Big Write-Offs by Arch and Peabody; More Are Likely

Coal reserves are considered the measure of a coal company. Insurers, investors, government officials, market analysts and so on have typically considered company-reported reserves an indication of what can actually be cashed in on someday. Digging into the data in coal company disclosure statements shows how some coal producers are now acknowledging that reserves have […]

April 10, 2018 Read More →