World’s largest coal company declares bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal company and biggest producer of coal in the U.S., today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peabody’s debt burden is $10.1 billion. In a statement, the company cited “unprecedented” pressures on the global coal industry, including the dramatic drop in coal prices and regulatory challenges, but said mine operations will continue as usual. Over the past year, Peabody’s share price dropped by 94 percent and the company lost $2 billion in 2015. With today’s bankruptcy filing Peabody joined some of the largest U.S. coal producers, including Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources, Patriot Coal Corporation and Walter Energy, Inc. in filing for bankruptcy protection.

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica issued the following response:

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With Peabody joining Alpha and Arch Coal in bankruptcy, a clear signal has been sent: coal is a bad investment for investors as well as the future of the planet. As the bankruptcy proceedings move forward, these companies must be held responsible for the environmental damage they have caused and honor their commitments to their workers. Any reorganization must leave remaining coal reserves in the ground, finance the clean-up of the areas that have already been impacted and honor the previous commitments they have made to their workers.

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