US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

Utilities accelerate shutdown dates; 22 plants in 14 states this year; hard-hit regions include the Ohio River Valley

Oct. 25, 2018 — U.S. coal-fired power plant closures are on pace this year to set a record, concludes a research report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report — “Record Drop in U.S. Coal-Fired Capacity Likely in 2018: Utilities Are Accelerating Shutdown Dates as Plants Grow Increasingly Uneconomic”— […]

October 25, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA report: Seven disruptions driving the modernization of electricity generation and transmission

IEEFA report: Seven disruptions driving the modernization of electricity generation and transmission

Overlapping forces spell further declines for coal-fired power

We’ve published a research brief today that looks at the underlying forces driving a global shift in how electricity is generated. Our paper—“The Seven Technology Disruptions Driving the Global Energy Transition”—is a primer on fundamental changes occurring now that are collectively displacing coal from its long-dominant role in power generation. We note in the brief […]

October 5, 2018 Read More →

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 […]

More News and Commentary

Peabody plans more cutbacks in U.S. coal production

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): In the face of recent operational setbacks and troubling global economic indicators, Peabody Energy Corp. told investors it is focusing on “value over volume” with sharp reductions in U.S. thermal coal production but increased attention to its metallurgical coal operations in the U.S. and Australia, as well as the country’s […]

February 7, 2019 Read More →

Indiana NAACP pushing NIPSCO for earlier closure of Michigan City coal plant

Energy News Network: A northwest Indiana utility made headlines in September when it announced it will retire its last coal plant within a decade. That is not soon enough for the predominately African American community that bears the brunt of the plant’s pollution burden. NIPSCO’s new timeline for coal retirements has been widely celebrated by […]

February 7, 2019 Read More →

U.S. Labor Department: Coal mining employment fell to record low in 2018

West Virginia Public Radio: It’s been two years since President Donald Trump took office and began rolling back environmental regulations on the coal industry. At a November rally in Huntington, West Virginia, the president took credit for a coal comeback in front of a cheering crowd. But federal data about the industry tell a different […]

February 5, 2019 Read More →

Future of South Carolina coal plant up in the air

The Post and Courier: The smokestacks of the coal-fired power plant reign over vast Lake Moultrie — by far the tallest thing in sight. Some have called the stacks the symbol of Santee Cooper country, named for the utility that runs the plant and the lake. Company executives like to tout it as their flagship. […]

February 5, 2019 Read More →

Coal-reliant Kentucky utility looking for renewable energy supplies

Associated Press: The state’s largest electric utility is seeking proposals to generate renewable energy. Louisville Gas and Electric says there is a growing interest and declining costs associated with renewable energy. The company is conducting a formal review and has issued a request for proposals from suppliers. David Sinclair, the company’s vice president of Energy […]

February 5, 2019 Read More →

Industry analysts, executives: Coal consolidation is coming, question is when

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): While U.S. coal producers are hesitant to invest in new capacity at the moment, several industry professionals said at a recent energy event that they do not foresee widespread consolidation any time soon. Michael Bauersachs, president and CEO of Ramaco Resources Inc., said that in a “difficult environment” where the […]

February 4, 2019 Read More →

Georgia Power proposes closing Hammond, McIntosh coal plants

Atlanta Business Chronicle: Georgia Power Co. will continue reducing its reliance on coal during the next two decades while stepping up its investments in renewable power and energy efficiency, according to a plan the Atlanta-based utility submitted Thursday. The 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would keep Georgia Power moving toward the goals the company committed […]

February 1, 2019 Read More →

Wyoming: PacifiCorp closes Unit 3 at Naughton coal plant

Gillette News Record: Operators at PacifiCorp’s Naughton Plant have shut down Unit 3, a giant furnace and electrical generator that consumed 165 tons of coal an hour. Part of the three-unit Naughton Plant outside this town of 2,747, Unit 3’s warren of conveyor belts, robust coal grinder, towering boiler, maze of steam pipes and spinning […]

February 1, 2019 Read More →

Troubled Wyoming coal company to pay executive bonuses early

Casper Star Tribune: Cloud Peak Energy executives won’t have to wait for bonuses from their troubled coal company. The Wyoming firm, one of the state’s largest producers of coal, announced Tuesday that it was ditching gradually-paid retention plans agreed upon in November in favor of lump-sum payments to entice its executive team to stay. Cloud […]

January 30, 2019 Read More →

South Carolina co-ops concerned about state’s high-cost coal power

The Post and Courier: South Carolina’s electric cooperatives want Santee Cooper to study if coal is the cheapest way to provide electricity to customers, questioning whether the state-run utility should cease operating some of its aging coal-fired power plants. Officials with Central Electric Power, the group that negotiates power prices for all 20 co-ops, pressured […]

January 29, 2019 Read More →