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

Lansing muni remains committed to coal phase-out

Lansing City Pulse: A new rule proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency last week would ease pollution restrictions and squeeze more life out of the nation’s aging fleet of coal-fired power plants, but the rule will have no effect on Lansing, according to [Board of Water & Light] General Manager Dick Peffley. “We don’t […]

August 29, 2018 Read More →

U.S. coal generation continues its downward trend

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Natural gas accounted for roughly a third of U.S. power generation in June and the first half of the year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” released Aug. 24, utility-scale generation net of hydroelectric pumped storage increased 3.8% year over year in June to 371.7 […]

August 28, 2018 Read More →

TVA to consider closing two more coal plants

Utility Dive: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors approved a 1.5% rate hike on Wednesday, along with a $10.5 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but most importantly announced they would review its generation fleet with an eye towards shutting down older coal plants. According to S&P Global, the review will first […]

August 27, 2018 Read More →

Utilities see no changes in coal plant retirement plans

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Electric and municipal utilities that own coal-fired generation in the U.S. are applauding President Donald Trump’s proposed replacement for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, but there is no initial indication these companies will re-evaluate their planned coal plant retirements. An analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows more than […]

August 23, 2018 Read More →

Bays: Coal ‘failing to compete’ with natural gas

CNN Money: Coal is dying because of dirt-cheap natural gas. The rise of renewable energy isn’t helping. The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday an effort to prop up coal by replacing Obama-era carbon emission policies known as the Clean Power Plan. But the regulatory reversal is unlikely to spark a coal comeback. Coal’s true nemeses […]

August 22, 2018 Read More →

Opponents planning court battle for new power plan

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Opponents of President Donald Trump’s replacement of the Clean Power Plan are publicly blasting the proposal in hopes of gaining public support for a campaign against implementing the rule before challenging it in court should it become finalized. The administration’s Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule will likely a face […]

August 22, 2018 Read More →

Experts doubt proposed regulatory rollback will affect decline of U.S. coal industry

Charleston Gazette-Mail: As the Trump administration continues to promise a rebound to the coal industry by walking back Obama administration rules, experts say those regulatory rollbacks still will not prompt a resurgence of the industry. Trump is expected to announce plans to roll back Obama-era regulations on coal-fired power plants at a Charleston rally Tuesday […]

August 21, 2018 Read More →

Experts question DOE’s plans for smaller, modular coal plants

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Coal-fired power plants in the U.S. may soon get a reprieve from Obama-era restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions limits, but the Trump administration’s plan to push for more efficient, flexible and competitive new coal plants faces technical and market challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 21 will unveil […]

August 21, 2018 Read More →

Long odds for Trump plan to save U.S. coal

Wall Street Journal ($): The Trump administration is escalating an effort to revive the flagging U.S. coal industry with a planned move next week to replace restrictive Obama-era climate policies with new rules designed to help coal-burning plants run harder and stay open longer. The proposed new rules, which the Environmental Protection Agency plans is […]

August 20, 2018 Read More →

WVU study sees continued decline in West Virginia coal production

WV Public Broadcasting: A new economic forecast shows the recent uptick in coal production is expected to level out during the next two years and decline precipitously during the next two decades. The annual coal production report, released today by West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, shows the recent uptick in coal […]

August 17, 2018 Read More →