IEEFA Research

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known

Costs to Ratepayers Stand to Increase if Puget Sound Keeps Two Coal-Fired Plants Alive

In testimony today to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia, Wash., we are presenting fresh analyses that shows how two coal-fired electricity generators in Montana co-owned by Puget Sound Energy are worse investments  than previously known. Over the past several months, IEEFA has documented how Colstrip 1 and 2 have become an increasingly […]

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Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

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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- Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin

Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin (pdf) With almost no accountability, BLM failure created boom in electric power industry use of artificially cheap coal from Montana and Wyoming; Next major coal sale set for Thursday   WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 25, 2012 – […]

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More News and Commentary

Both Promoters and Opponents Sense a Pulse in Dormant Gateway Pacific Coal-Export Project

Christopher Coats for SNL: Months after federal and Washington state officials effectively halted progress on the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal, project backers have moved to ensure that they can return to the project at a later date, while opponents are moving to halt it completely with an expansion of state protection. The proposed […]

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IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

30 States Have Projects Under Construction or in Advanced Development

Wind power is a rapidly growing source of electricity in the U.S., doubling its share of generation in just five years, to 4.9 percent in 2015. The declining cost of wind power, along with cheap natural gas, has put tremendous financial pressure on both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and is changing the mix of fuels […]

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Of Seven New U.S. Coal-Export Terminals Planned in the Past Five Years, None Has Opened

Timothy Puko and Erica E. Phillips for the Wall Street Journal: Western coal producers once saw exports to Asia as their future. For many, that dream is fading. A global glut has flooded overseas markets that were once expected to buy coal produced along a belt stretching from Utah to Montana that includes the Powder […]

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IEEFA Montana: Closing of Two Coal-Fired Units Is an Acknowledgment of Their Failure to Compete

Lawsuit Settlement Sets Retirement of Colstrip 1 and 2 by 2022

News yesterday that a pair of coal-fired power-generation units in Montana will finally close had an air of inevitability about it. Here’s the lead from the Associated Press story: “The Colstrip coal plant in Montana that serves utility customers across the Pacific Northwest—including Puget Sound Energy customers—agreed to shut down two of its four units and limit […]

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Colstrip Will Close Two Coal-Fired Units

Matthew Brown for the Associated Press: A large Montana coal plant serving utility customers across the Pacific Northwest agreed Tuesday to shut down two of its four units by 2022 and limit pollution from the plant until that happens, under a settlement with environmentalists who sued over emission violations. Terms of the partial shutdown of […]

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Op-Ed: Coal Trains

Brian L. Gunn for the Auburn (Wash.) Reporter: When I ran for state representative in 2012, I walked downtown Auburn neighborhoods with a petition calling on state leaders to deny permitting of coal export terminals. The folks who signed the petition agreed that increased coal train traffic through our city was bad for our health, […]

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Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”

Christopher Coats in SNL: Few options have emerged for reviving the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal in Washington following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent decision to halt permitting of the controversial project, according to stakeholders involved. On May 9, the Corps announced that it halted the permitting process for the terminal in response to a […]

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‘The Prospects for Coal Exports Are Dimming, but Politics Have Little to Do with it’

Benjamin Storrow for the Casper Star Tribune: Political flaps over coal exports get the headlines. But a deteriorating market poses a greater threat to American mining firms’ dreams of establishing a beachhead in Asia. Exports were widely viewed as a lifeline for the United States’ contracting coal industry as recently as 2014. Some analysts predicted […]

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Army Corps Blocks Plan for Coal Terminal in Washington State

Lynda V. Mapes for the Seattle Times: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency reviewing permits for the deep water port project, agreed with the tribe Monday that it could not grant a permit for a project that would infringe on the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing rights. The developer, SSA Marine of Seattle, declared […]

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Coal Port-Expansion Sponsor in Washington State Puts Project on Hold

From the Associated Press: The sponsor of a proposed Washington state coal port for shipments of the fuel to Asia is suspending work on an environmental review because of a Native American tribe’s concerns that the project could hurt its fishing rights. SSA Marine, which retains a 51 percent ownership of the project, said Friday […]

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