Latest: Coal giant emerges from bankruptcy

Peabody is benefiting from the natural gas price hike.

  • El Segundo mine in New Mexico.

    Peabody Energy
 

BACKSTORY
Coal giant Peabody Energy filed for bankruptcy in 2016, raising doubts about whether it would fulfill its legal obligation to reclaim land that it mined in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The company had self-bonded, meaning that it promised to pay to restore damaged land and water sources rather than posting cash or bonds up front. After Peabody and two other self-bonded companies declared bankruptcy, the government released a policy advisory warning states against self-bonding (“Coal company bankruptcies jeopardize reclamation,HCN, 1/25/16).

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Peabody emerged from bankruptcy in March, with one of the conditions being that it will no longer self-bond. In May, the company reported a 29 percent increase in revenue over the same period last year, with quarterly net income the highest in five years. Peabody attributes this to increased revenue from its Australian mines and greater demand for coal from Western utility companies due to higher natural gas costs. It also praised the Trump administration for its “strong actions” supporting coal.