Coal Age

MAR 2019

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March 2019 7 u.s. news continued Not only did the TVA board rebuff Kentucky's entreaties to keep Paradise 3 open, it rejected pleas by Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and others to delay the February vote for several months, at least until more informa- tion is available from the Federal En- ergy Regulatory Commission in May, about the need to retain coal genera- tion for the nation's resource security. TVA Board Member Kenny Allen, a recent Trump appointee and for- mer official with Armstrong Coal Co. in western Kentucky, unsuccessfully urged his colleagues to postpone the vote. "I'm still concerned about the overall economics of retiring Paradise Unit 3 on the community and the long- term impact on TVA," Allen said. "Our diverse portfolio could be in jeopardy." Allen cast the lone dissenting vote against the closing. Hundreds of power plant and coal mining jobs could be lost in the re- gion if the unit goes dark at the end of next year. In recent years, Ohio's Mur- ray Energy Corp. has supplied most of the steam coal to Unit 3. Murray En- ergy is headed by Robert E. Murray, a strong Trump supporter. Murray Energy acquired St. Louis- based Armstrong Energy Inc., the par- ent of Armstrong Coal, two years ago. In brushing aside the delay pro- posal, Bill Johnson, TVA president and CEO, said he "couldn't imagine" that any new information would change recommendations to shutter Paradise 3. Both that unit and Bull Run are no longer "economically via- ble" most of the time, both plants are operated infrequently and "are out of the money at least half the time we run them," he said. Both plants also are more than 50 years old. The first two coal units went online at Paradise in 1963. Allen explained he recommend- ed a delay in the final decision "be- cause the economic effects on the community cannot be completely quantified." Given the substantial infrastructure in place for decades at the plant, "Paradise is a good place for coal generation," he said. TVA estimates closing Paradise 3 and Bull Run will save $320 million because they are its least-efficient coal plants. Johnson noted TVA is chartered to provide the lowest-cost electricity to its 10 million customers in seven Southeastern states. Following the vote, a "deeply dis- appointed" Bevin said through his spokesman, Woody Maglinger, he is not giving up trying to save Paradise 3. "We will continue to work closely with our federal partners on potential pathways to save Paradise Unit 3," the governor said. top 10 coal-producing states and regions weekly spot prices (Thousands of Short Tons) Week Ending (2/23/19) YTD '19 YTD '18 % Change Wyoming 41,907 45,504 -7.9 West Virginia 14,625 13,945 4.9 Pennsylvania 7,342 7,131 3.0 Illinois 7,222 7,519 -4.0 Montana 5,699 5,396 5.6 Kentucky 5,685 6,093 -6.7 Indiana 5,214 5,046 3.3 North Dakota 4,432 4,488 -1.2 Texas 3,287 3,613 -9.0 Alabama 2,328 2,323 0.2 Appalachian Total 30,075 29,778 1.0 Interior Total 19,615 20,243 -3.1 Western Total 58,199 61,758 -5.8 U.S. Total 107,890 111,780 -3.5 ($/ton) Week Ending (3/8/19) Central Appalachia (12,500 Btu, 1.2 SO 2 ) $80.50 Northern Appalachia (13,000 Btu, < 3.0 SO 2 ) $70.20 Illinois Basin (11,800 Btu, 5.0 SO 2 ) $37.45 Powder River Basin (8,800 Btu, 0.8 SO 2 ) $12.80 Uinta Basin (11,700 Btu, 0.8 SO 2 ) $38.80 Source: Energy Information Administration monthly stats from coal country U.S. News Continued on Page 12

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