• 58 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 63 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 65 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 68 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 68 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 69 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 71 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 71 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 75 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 75 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 76 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 78 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 79 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 82 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 83 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 83 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 85 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
  • 86 days Europe’s Economy Is On The Brink As Putin’s War Escalates
  • 89 days What’s Causing Inflation In The United States?
  • 90 days Intel Joins Russian Exodus as Chip Shortage Digs In
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Breaking News

The Dying Coal Industry Claims Another Victim

Coal Industry

Murray Energy, the US largest privately owned coal producer led by outspoken Donald Trump’s ally Robert Murray, has filed for chapter 11 protection, as the fossil fuel’s role in the country’s energy mix continues to weaken.

 

The Ohio-based miner, the eighth coal company to go under over the past year, said it had reached a restructuring agreement with lenders to restructure more than $2.7 billion of debt.

As part of the arrangement, lenders are creating a new entity called Murray NewCo, which will acquire all assets belonging to Murray Energy — one of the most powerful and well-connected companies in the coal industry. 

The coal producer noted it would finance operations with available cash and a $350 million debtor-in-possession financing facility.

Robert Murray, the self-proclaimed king of the coal industry, is stepping down from its chief executive position, but he will remain as the company’s chairman. Former chief financial officer, Robert Moore, is taking over, the company said.

“Although a bankruptcy filing is not an easy decision, it became necessary to access liquidity and best position Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers and our long term success,” Robert Murray said in the statement.

Unlike many of its peers, Murray Energy was able to overcome the shrinking demand from utilities by focusing on exports. However, those shipments have shrank because of declining global prices.

US coal exports are estimated to have dropped to 20.9 million tonnes in the third quarter, according to the country’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). That represents a 28% fall compared to the same period of 2018.

The EIA expects coal exports to keep their downward trend, slipping to 17.3 million by the end of 2020.

Internal demand for the fossil fuel, in turn has hit a decades-low, with power plants expected to consume less coal next year than at any point since President Jimmy Carter was in the White House, according to government forecasts released in early October.

Going, going, gone


Murray Energy’s collapse is yet another sign of a dying industry, despite Trump’s rescue attempts. Right after taking office, he slashed environmental regulations and even installed former coal lobbyist Scott Pruitt at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The deregulatory push, however, has been unable to offset market forces. Coal just can’t compete with cheap natural gas and the falling cost of solar power, wind and other forms of renewable energy.

Murray, who began working in coal mines at 16 to support his family and founded his own company in 1988, has been an outspoken advocate of coal.

He challenged President Barack Obama’s clean-air rules and even called him the “greatest destroyer the US has ever had.”

In 2017, Murray filed a defamation lawsuit against John Oliver, HBO and CNN owner Time Warner (now called WarnerMedia), alleging “character assassination” during an episode of “Last Week Tonight.” That lawsuit was dismissed last year.

Murray has also been a skeptic of climate change, arguing that any threats have been exaggerated.

By Mining.com 

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment