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When 2020 began, even with oil prices relatively strong, many industry analysts were predicting it was the beginning of the end for oil and gas. And then the pandemic hit and the Saudis and Russians decided to take advantage of the downturn. With supplies still high and demand declining, the industry may never be the same again.
For the fifth time this year, a major coal company — this time Murray Energy — declared bankruptcy, despite all the President’s efforts to buoy the dying industry. The company will get to continue to operate even as it restructures is 2.7 billion in operating debt. But The Washington Post reported that according to its bankruptcy court filings, Murray Energy may seek relief from its $8 billion in pension debt and future payments into a federal fund for miners’ pensions and that relief for Murray would result in the depletion of the retirement fund for all 90,000 miners (most of whom are retired) across the country by 2020.
Why This Matters: The bottom line is that the coal industry’s success in getting Trump to lift environmental rules did not result in enough savings to make these coal companies solvent. So everyone (other than coal company executives) loses — the workers, the people who are stuck living near the denuded mess after these mines shut down, and taxpayers who will ultimately pay for both.
Last week, with no warning, Blackjewel LLC, which operates Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines — closed both which are the largest and most productive mines in Wyoming, because the United Bank of West Virginia denied Blackjewel financing, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy. The 700 mine employees are now struggling to survive, with unresolved questions about the mess left behind, for both the people and the unreclaimed mining sites.
It’s been a long road for Pacific Gas and Electric, after facing possible murder charges for its role in California’s recent wildfires as well as lawsuits from survivors, the utility has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As PV Magazine explained, the filing is a financial move that allows PG&E to reorganize its debts, and does not involve […]
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