Competition from cheap natural gas and heavier environmental regulation of mines and power plants have created the poorest U.S. coal market conditions in at least 58 years, he said.
Though the on-the-ground efforts of groups like the Sierra Club have played a major role in tripping up coal companies actively mining or seeking new areas to mine, environmentalists' air game has perhaps been most touted for pinching coal on the demand side.
SNL Energy Research analyzes the top coal basins in select regions amid predictions of further pain for the global coal industry, including mine closures, liquidations and bankruptcies.
Coal market prices continued to trade under pressure in June, with weather retaining shoulder-season qualities in the primary coal using regions.
Due to the long lead time for environmental control projects, many coal-fired generators have moved ahead with compliance plans.
Unsurprisingly, coal mine employment has continued to fall as coal-fired power plants nationwide are shuttered over regulations and lower natural gas prices, but a narrow band of counties stretching through Central Appalachia continue to bear the brunt of coal job losses.
Demand fears continue to restrict the extent of upside moves, whilst supply disruptions at the mine level have more recently provided a floor to prices following the early-year sell-off.
2 new SNL Energy reports rank the highest-paid CEO's in 2014 for power and gas utility and for midstream.
SNL Energy's analysis looked at 1,086 mines in 2013 and 2014, including 54 union mines and 1,032 nonunion mines.
Production costs for a handful of U.S. coal producers declined in 2014, but some Illinois Basin producers actually reported higher costs, according to a cost-of-coal-sales-per-ton analysis by SNL Energy.
Production at the largest active coal mines in the Illinois Basin declined slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter, but full-year 2014 production was 4.6% higher than the previous year, reflecting continued strong demand for coal from the region.
Consumer-facing financial technology companies may benefit from lower prices at the pump, while certain business development companies have come under pressure as the energy sector suffers.
Rise and fall: power and gas prices plummet from 5-year highs during frigid start to 2014, as coal prices continue decline
As the polar vortex froze much of the U.S. at the beginning 2014, the period of intense cold created demand, supply and transportations factors that led to the highest prices for power and spot gas seen over the past five years.
December 2014 coal markets were mixed on the month, with eastern coal caught in the rout that has broadly affected energy commodities on slowing global economic growth and weak winter demand.
Twelve mines in Northern Appalachia cranked out more than 1 million tons of coal each in the third quarter, helping boost production from the region.
Production from the largest active Powder River Basin coal mines totaled 106.88 million tons in the third quarte.
U.S. power generating units with co-firing or dual-switching capabilities experienced a decline in total gas burn of nearly 22% in 2013 year over year, but despite rising gas prices some RTOs continued their reliance on gas instead of coal.
Exelon nuke closures would take a bite out of Illinois baseload power.
As of Oct. 10, the energy industry had raised approximately $71.65 billion of senior debt, $20.85 billion of common equity, $3.73 billion of subordinated debt, $1.66 billion of preferred equity and $275 million of subsidiary trust preferred in 2014.
SNL Energy provides its latest update on past and future coal unit retirements in the U.S. electric power sector. The analysis now includes more in-depth data on coal unit conversions to alternate fuels.
Despite ever shrinking demand, coal remains the largest source of fuel for electric generation in the United States.
Again shouldered most of the burden.
"There is quite a spread at the moment."
Through April 2014, Colombia supplied about 13.4% of the coal delivered to the Southern plants with units slated to retire or be converted.
"At these price levels and at the current cost of operating, we lose money."