04 Jul 2019

Is President Donald Trump Losing His Fight to Save Coal?

04 Jul 2019  by Beth Weise and Ledyard King   
Nearly 2,000 miners across four states may lose their jobs after yet another major coal company filed for bankruptcy this week — the third since May and fourth since last October.

The bankruptcy filing from Revelation Energy LLC and its affiliate Blackjewel LLC, the nation's sixth-top coal producing company in 2017, comes amid President Donald Trump's ongoing efforts to boost the flagging industry.

The Trump administration rolled out a rule last month aiming to extend the lives of aging coal-fired power plants across the nation. Environmentalists say the Affordable Clean Energy rule would trigger premature deaths, including from lung disease.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to revitalize coal and save miners' jobs, despite scientists linking the burning of the fossil fuels to global warming, but the industry has continued to suffer losses.

Coal comeback? Trump plan breathes new life into aging power plants, but critics say climate will suffer.

At mines and facilities in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wyoming, Revelation Energy and Blackjewel employ 1,800 workers, according to court documents and The Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune. Company officials estimate they owe $156 million for goods and services, West Virginia Public Radio reported.

Last month, Cambrian Coal LLC also filed for bankruptcy. The company operating in Kentucky and Virginia blamed its bankruptcy on changes in demand and regulations related to the Clean Air Act.

Another coal-producing leader filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May. Once the nation's third-largest coal company, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy employed 1,300 people at the time of its filing. It accounted for 7.4% of total U.S. coal production in 2017, according to the Department of Labor.

And, the nation's ninth-leading coal company went to bankruptcy court late in 2018. Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. had more than $1.4 billion in debt at the time, The Associated Press reported.

More News