The End of Coal as We Know It: Peabody Energy Files for Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, DC (April 13, 2016) Peabody Energy, the world’s largest publicly traded coal company, today became the fifth big coal operator to declare bankruptcy in the United States during the last year. As Peabody reorganizes to shed debt during bankruptcy proceedings, the company will seek to vastly reduce more than $2 billion in obligations to reclaim mined lands.

Following is a statement from Theo Spencer, Senior Policy Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The collapse of Peabody Energy makes clear that the future does not belong to coal, but to cleaner sources of energy that we hope will protect our children and grandchildren from the ravages of climate change.

“Peabody’s collapse is as much about bad management as it is about changing market conditions. The company took on billions of dollars of debt-through ill-timed acquisitions and then rewarded executives with million dollar bonuses, and investors with dividends, even as the stock plummeted. Now we need to make sure the bankruptcy process doesn’t shortchange miners and their families or public lands at the expense of big investors.

“We are not facing the end of coal, just the end of coal as we know it. Investors and operators will continue to mine coal into the future, but we cannot let Peabody – or any of the other fallen mining companies – walk away from the billions of dollars in damages to landscapes, wildlife, and crucial water supplies that are part of coal’s legacy.”

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