Powder River Basin Coal

IEEFA Research

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

Bear market for coal, new financial pressures push world’s largest coal company towards default

Just three-and-a-half years after emerging from its previous bankruptcy, Peabody Energy—the world’s largest private coal miner—admitted to investors on Monday that it could face yet another trip to bankruptcy court in the coming months. Coal bankruptcies in the United States have become increasingly common. Cheap gas and renewable power have steadily replaced coal in the […]

IEEFA Coal Outlook 2020: Market trends are pushing U.S. industry to a reckoning

IEEFA Coal Outlook 2020: Market trends are pushing U.S. industry to a reckoning

Competition, financing, consolidation, muni/co-op trajectories, export markets

March 30, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) — A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) sees the U.S. coal industry continuing to decline through 2020 and beyond. The report, U.S. Coal Outlook 2020: Market Trends Are Pushing Industry Ever Closer to a Reckoning, details issues that will likely persist in driving […]

IEEFA report: Navajo company’s foray into Powder River Basin coal is off to a troubled start

IEEFA report: Navajo company’s foray into Powder River Basin coal is off to a troubled start

Regulatory roadblock in Montana - business case for NTEC acquisition of Cloud Peak mines continues to unravel

Oct. 25, 2019 (IEEFA U.S.) — Regulatory opposition to the acquisition this week by Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) of three coal mines in the Powder River Basin deals the small company’s expansion strategy an immediate setback, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Just as NTEC […]

IEEFA U.S.: Bill to incentivize federal reinvestment in tribal regions of Arizona suggests a model for coalfield communities nationally

IEEFA U.S.: Bill to incentivize federal reinvestment in tribal regions of Arizona suggests a model for coalfield communities nationally

Bipartisan support is possible; Congressional appropriations will be key

Sept. 29, 2019 (IEEFA) — A bill to encourage federal reinvestment in communities hurt by the closure of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS)-Kayenta Mine complex in Arizona suggests a model that could work for coalfield communities nationally, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report—Bill to Spark […]

and September 19, 2019 Read More →
IEEFA update: Business case weakens for Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) bid to purchase Montana-Wyoming coal mines

IEEFA update: Business case weakens for Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) bid to purchase Montana-Wyoming coal mines

Macroeconomic, regional and local risks in deal for bankrupt Cloud Peak assets

September 5, 2019 (IEEFA U.S.) — Production is down this year and the customer base is shrinking at three mines that Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) proposes buying in a bankruptcy-court bid for Cloud Peak Energy, according to a research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The brief—NTEC […]

IEEFA U.S.: 13 questions on Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s proposed acquisition of bankrupt Cloud Peak’s Montana and Wyoming mines

IEEFA U.S.: 13 questions on Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s proposed acquisition of bankrupt Cloud Peak’s Montana and Wyoming mines

Little transparency and no tribal-government participation

Aug. 30, 2019 (IEEFA) — A research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis raises questions about whether a Navajo Transitional Energy Co. (NTEC) bid to buy a bankrupt coal company’s assets is prudent, whether it was put together properly and if it is in line with NTEC’s responsibilities to […]

IEEFA: Proposed Navajo acquisition of bankrupt U.S. coal company is an ill-timed gamble

IEEFA: Proposed Navajo acquisition of bankrupt U.S. coal company is an ill-timed gamble

Plan to buy Cloud Peak’s mines in Montana and Wyoming comes as Powder River Basin producers face more hard times - NTEC could modernize with leadership change

Aug. 22, 2019 (IEEFA) — A plan by the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) to acquire Cloud Peak Energy’s coal mines in Montana and Wyoming is a high-risk gamble and poorly timed, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report, Proposed Navajo Acquisition of Bankrupt U.S. Coal Company […]

IEEFA report: Powder River Basin coal industry  is in long-term decline

IEEFA report: Powder River Basin coal industry is in long-term decline

Fast-changing markets indicate deeper downturns to come in Montana and Wyoming

March 18, 2019 (IEEFA U.S.) — Coal producers in the Powder River Basin continue to lose customers as utilities across the U.S. embrace a shift toward cleaner and cheaper forms of power generation, according to a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report — Powder River Basin Coal […]

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

Coal output rose in first half of 2021 but employment continues decline

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): U.S. coal production bounced back in the first half of 2021 from early pandemic lows set in the first half of 2020, but average quarterly employment in the sector has not similarly recovered. Total U.S. coal output dipped substantially in early 2020 as reduced demand drove down energy consumption during […]

August 30, 2021 Read More →

IEEFA: Institutional investors have a major role to play in carbon emissions reduction

IEA Net Zero by 2050 report lays out roadmap for successful economic transition

The recently released International Energy Agency (IEA) roadmap to a net-zero economic transformation by 2050 not only lays out an energy-and-beyond vision, but also sets forth key steps needed to achieve it.  The situation is dire, and the message for institutional investors, particularly public funds, is stark. Maintaining returns that meet financial targets—and protecting the […]

June 15, 2021 Read More →

Powder River Basin customers burned 42% less coal last year

E&E News ($): Customers of mines in Wyoming and Montana burned as much as 42% less coal last year, according to a new analysis estimating which operations are most at risk of closing. The Powder River Basin mines about 40% of the country’s coal, but the region’s sprawling open pits have seen production cut by […]

May 20, 2021 Read More →

Arch planning for Black Thunder mine’s closure as U.S. coal demand continues to shrink

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The owner of the second-largest coal mine in the U.S. by production volume is planning for the asset’s closure as retirement dates approach for several plants that burn much of the mine’s fuel. Coal demand in the U.S. has been declining for years, and Arch Resources Inc. announced Feb. 9 […]

February 24, 2021 Read More →

U.S. energy transition hits Powder River Basin as coal production falls, mines close

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A sharp decline in coal demand from the U.S. power sector is wreaking havoc on the Powder River Basin as mine operators in the region scaled back production during 2020 with few indications of improved prospects for volumes. Production in the country’s largest coal-producing basin fell 21.8% year over year […]

February 9, 2021 Read More →

Decker coal mine in Montana closes in wake of Lighthouse Resources’ bankruptcy

Casper Star Tribune: A Powder River Basin coal mine has closed down for the first time in modern history. At the end of January, mining ceased at the Decker coal mine in Montana after the owner of the mine filed for bankruptcy late last year. Home to some of the world’s largest mines, the Powder […]

February 8, 2021 Read More →

Lighthouse Resources bankruptcy likely the end for proposed Washington coal export terminal

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming’s long-held dream of exporting Powder River Basin coal from a West Coast terminal was recently dashed when the project’s owner filed for bankruptcy and failed to find an interested buyer. Lighthouse Resources Inc. petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 3. The company owns the Decker coal mine in Montana, just […]

January 12, 2021 Read More →

U.S. coal companies White Stallion and Lighthouse Resources file for bankruptcy

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Two more U.S. coal mining companies have filed for bankruptcy as producers across the country struggle to sell coal into the troubled thermal coal market. White Stallion Energy LLC and Lighthouse Resources Inc. filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware […]

December 4, 2020 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Decline in coal exports adds to Navajo-owned company’s problems

IEEFA U.S.: Decline in coal exports adds to Navajo-owned company’s problems

Weak demand and low prices are likely creating steep losses for NTEC

U.S. coal exports to Asia—once heralded as the saving grace for struggling coal producers in the western United States—are facing new strains from low prices and weak demand in the wake of the global COVID-19 crisis.  In its third-quarter financial statement released earlier this month, Westshore Terminals in British Columbia, the primary terminal for U.S. thermal coal […]

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again
and

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

Bear market for coal, new financial pressures push world’s largest coal company towards default

Just three-and-a-half years after emerging from its previous bankruptcy, Peabody Energy—the world’s largest private coal miner—admitted to investors on Monday that it could face yet another trip to bankruptcy court in the coming months. Coal bankruptcies in the United States have become increasingly common. Cheap gas and renewable power have steadily replaced coal in the […]