Thursday, April 28, 2016

Obama EPA Drives Another Coal Company Out Of Business

by JASmius

And another one bites the dust:

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal producer, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday in a U.S. court, citing “unprecedented” industry pressures and a sharp decline in the price of coal.

The company said it will continue to operate while in bankruptcy, while working to reduce debt and improve cash flow.

“Peabody has a new management team, outstanding workforce, unmatched asset base and strong underlying operational performance that represent a key driver in the company’s future success,” CEO Glenn Kellow said in a statement announcing the Chapter 11 filing.

In addition to plummeting coal prices, the company cited weakness in [Red] China’s economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and ongoing regulatory challenges as reasons for its declining prospects.

Peabody reported a loss of $2 billion last year. Revenue tumbled 17% to $5.6 billion as the average price and amount of coal that it sold fell. It warned of further declines this year due to reduced use of coal by U.S. utilities, along with lower demand from overseas markets.

Shares of Peabody (BTU) have already plunged more than 75% this year to trade near $2. The company has roughly 7,600 employees. [emphasis added]

Not has; had.

I wish it was just various adverse market factors; that kind of thing happens in capitalist economies all the time.  I really wish Peabody's biggest "enemy" was the flood of natural gas that has poured into the U.S. domestic energy market over the past decade as a direct result of the advent of hydraulic fracturing technologies, providing equally as cheap and plentiful, but much cleaner-burning, a source of energy for the American people.  That would be competition and true progress.

But we know that isn't the case, and that the true "enemy" is only going to get worse:

American Action Forum crunched the numbers and found that Obama, the [Commissaria]t of the Interior, and the Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency has added $312 billion in costs, along with more than thirty million hours of additional paperwork to keep up with those regulations. They added rules, like the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and MATS (mercury and air toxics standards), would impose $20 billion in annual regulatory burdens alone.

Boy, that graphic really is worth a thousand words, isn't it?

And that's with the Regime's "Clean Power" Plan in theoretical abeyance.  If the SCOTUS accordians and gives it the unconstitutional green light (to the extent that EPA won't have illegally implemented it anyway), our energy situation will accelerate its resemblance to that of ironically oil-rich Venezuela.  But only after the U.S. energy sector and the poor, working, and middle classes have followed Peabody Energy into the Bankrupt Machine first.

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