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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 […]

More News and Commentary

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 →

Editorial: Wyoming Requires an Honest Public Conversation on the Future of Its Economy

Casper Star-Tribune: Because coal in Wyoming isn’t going to reach pre-bust levels, regardless of what happens to the Clean Power Plan. Pruitt isn’t doing the industry any favors by ignoring the market forces that have driven its decline. Wyoming added five coal jobs since the bottom of the bust in 2016. That means that while […]

April 9, 2018 Read More →

Citing Cleanup Risk, Government Agency Calls for End to Self-Bonding by U.S. Coal Companies

Climate Home: A US federal agency has asked Congress to consider banning coal mine “self-bonding,” a controversial practice that can leave taxpayers paying to clean up disused sites. The recommendation came in a report published on Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). It is a high-profile attack on self-bonds, which allow companies to […]

April 6, 2018 Read More →

Few New Leases on Federal Coal Tracts 1 Year After Moratorium Reversal

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A year after the Trump administration lifted a controversial moratorium on federal coal leases, both approvals and new applications are scarce as industry challenges show little sign of abating. “I don’t think there is a whole lot of interest in new coal leasing,” said Mark Squillace, director of the Natural […]

April 5, 2018 Read More →

Clock Is Ticking on Westmoreland Coal

Billings Gazette: Westmoreland Coal Co. stock fell to 26 cents a share Tuesday after the company with three Montana mines indicated it would consider bankruptcy. The Colorado company, which feeds the Colstrip power plant from the Rosebud Mine, and whose Absaloka Mine has been a major source of income for the Crow Tribe, revealed in […]

April 4, 2018 Read More →

Citing Rising Risk, $67 Billion California Pension Fund Will Sell Fossil Fuel Holdings

Pension & Investments: Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher, speaking at the March 13 investment subcommittee meeting in Los Angeles, said that in the long term, the $66.6 billion pension fund and $11.5 billion endowment are going to move out of fossil fuel investments. “The traditional approach, not only with us but other investors, was […]

April 4, 2018 Read More →

Trump’s Energy Department Continues Efforts Aimed at Bailing Out Coal Industry

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The U.S. Department of Energy has shown strong support for slowing or pausing a trend of coal-fired power plant retirements, though it has had little success in getting action that would secure that goal as a U.S. transition from coal has continued. Without coal, the 13-state PJM Interconnection would have […]

April 3, 2018 Read More →

Ohio-Based Coal Company Murray Energy Says It Isn’t Going Bankrupt

S&P Global Market Intelligence: Murray Energy Corp. “currently has no plans to file for bankruptcy protection,” despite a warning issued to government officials in 2017 that the coal producer would be forced to follow if one of its largest customers sought a court-supervised restructuring. That possibility became reality March 31. In 2017, Murray Energy supplied […]

April 3, 2018 Read More →

Bankruptcy of FirstEnergy’s Power-Generation Fleet Will Test Trump’s Promises to Coal Industry

Wall Street Journal: The Trump administration’s commitment to coal is under its stiffest test yet after an Ohio energy company made a plea to favor that power source over its many rivals, including oil and natural gas, in a clash that could end with higher costs for consumers. FirstEnergy Corp.’s fleet of coal- and nuclear-power […]

April 2, 2018 Read More →

Grid Operator to U.S. Energy Department: ‘There Is No Emergency’

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Power grid manager PJM Interconnection on Friday urged the U.S. Department of Energy not to take extraordinary action ordering subsidies to keep uncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants operating. FirstEnergy’s power plant subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), asked the DOE for the action on Thursday morning, about 18 hours after informing PJM and […]

April 2, 2018 Read More →