Alpha Natural Resources

IEEFA Research

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 […]

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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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For U.S. Coal, Market Realities Grow Increasingly Harsh

Debt Hurdles, Reclamation and Pension Challenges, Abandonment by Hedge Funds

We distributed a briefing note this week that delves into some of the many pressing difficulties confronting U.S. coal producers. In the note (“Struggling U.S. Coal Companies Face Debt Hurdles, Complications From Reclamation and Pension Obligations, Pressure from Hedge Funds”) we talk about how the cumulative impacts of the industry’s many mounting liabilities—reclamation costs, pension […]

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Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, IEEFA  

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Report: 20 Fourth-Quarter Questions for Powder River Basin Coal Producers

20 Fourth-Quarter Questions for Powder River Basin Coal Producers (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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Report – NYC and NYS pension funds should divest coal stocks: A shrinking industry, weak upside, and wrong on climate change

NYC and NYS pension funds should divest coal stocks: A shrinking industry, weak upside, and wrong on climate change (pdf)

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Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition, and risk (pdf) By Tim Buckley,  Director of Energy Resource Studies, Australasia, IEEFA

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More News and Commentary

In Bankruptcy Reorganization, U.S. Coal Giant Alpha Is Overstating Cash Flows by $100 Million, Regulators Say

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL: West Virginia regulators admonished Alpha Natural Resources Inc. for a five-year business projection that overstated “cash flows by a whopping $100 million.” The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection noted it would not challenge a settlement resolving the shortfall between Alpha and Contura Energy Inc., the entity formed from the bankruptcy […]

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Mounting Risk (and Opportunity) in Coal Industry Self-Bonding

Gregory DL Morris for Risk & Insurance: Waves of bankruptcies convulsing the coal industry in the United States leave billions of dollars in mine remediation costs potentially unfunded, and raise ominous questions for both tactical insurance and strategic risk management. Dozens of coal companies are in court-supervised reorganization or liquidation, some of them for the […]

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In Bankruptcy Proceedings, Abandoned Cleanup Costs May Result in Coal Companies Losing Permits on Active Mines

Joshua Learn for SNL: With the threat of liquidation weighing over bankruptcy proceedings involving the largest U.S. coal miners, environmental groups and government regulators must often make difficult choices about environmental liabilities. Brian Resnick of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP said that as a bankruptcy lawyer, the ideal solution for insolvent producers is to let […]

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Alpha Closes Its Last Mine in Kentucky

Karla Ward for the Lexington Herald-Leader: An estimated 117 people who work at a Pike County coal mine are expected to be laid off as the mine shuts down in November. Alpha Natural Resources has issued a notice alerting the 114 Sidney Coal employees and 3 Maxxim support personnel at its Process Energy Mine in […]

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Regulator Proceeds With Crackdown on Self-Bonding by Collapsing Coal Industry

Heather Richards for the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced that the agency would begin crafting a self-bonding rule, which will go through multiple comment periods, could potentially change eligibility requirements for the practice, incorporate new bonding mechanisms or institute yearly reviews of the financial health of self-bonded companies. […]

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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 […]

Read More →

As Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Powder River Basin Mines Are Losing Their Largest Customers

Electricity Companies in the Lone Star State Have Changed Fuel Preferences

As Powder River Basin coal producers try to work their way out of bankruptcy they are waging an uphill battle against a market that continues to decline internationally, nationally, and regionally. Nowhere is this conundrum better illustrated than in what’s happening in the power-generation industry over a thousand miles away in Texas, which burns more […]

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Alpha Promises to Cover Mine-Cleanup Costs When It Emerges From Bankruptcy. Can It?

Steven Mufson for the Washington Post: Alpha Natural Resources will emerge from bankruptcy with a plan to cover most, if not all, of its mine reclamation costs, but the payments for the cleanup could be made as late as 2025 and depend in part on the future financial performance of the restructured company in a […]

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Alpha, in Bankruptcy, Now Says It Will Clean Up Its Mines

Tom Hals for Reuters: Alpha Natural Resources said on Wednesday it expects to reach a deal with the U.S. government over responsibility for the cost of cleaning up mining sites, removing one of the most significant hurdles to the coal company’s exiting bankruptcy. Over the past few weeks, the fourth-largest U.S. coal miner and a […]

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Danish Wind Developer Sets Low-Cost Record in New Offshore Installation

Pilita Clark for the Financial Times: The projects will be built for €72.70 a megawatt hour, well below the €103 MWh record set last year by Sweden’s Vattenfall for a scheme off the coast of Denmark. “This is the cheapest we’ve ever seen by a long way and it puts offshore wind on a par […]

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