Daily Management Review

US coal giant Murray Energy goes bankrupt


Murray Energy Corp., the largest private coal company in the United States, became the last in a series of coal companies to declare bankruptcy.

The company filed a bankruptcy petition in accordance with Section 11 of the Bankruptcy Law (restructuring under protection from creditors).

"Although filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, there is a need to gain access to liquidity and achieve a better position for Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers and our long-term success," the company’s founder Robert Murray said in a statement.

The company intends to continue its activities during the reorganization in accordance with article 11, gaining access to $ 350 million from creditors.

President and new CEO of Murray Energy will be Robert Moore. Robert Murray, a supporter of US President Donald Trump, who denied climate change, will step down as CEO and head the board.

Eight other coal companies have filed for bankruptcy in the past two years, Reuters notes.

Murray Energy, along with other US coal companies, has run into difficulties as low-cost natural gas and renewable energy sources are reducing the share of coal in the energy mix.

The share of coal in US electricity generation, once exceeding 50%, is now less than 25%.

The use of renewable sources for generating electricity in the US in April for the first time exceeded the use of coal. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy, renewable sources accounted for 23% of total electricity production, coal - 20%.

Murray goes bankrupt more than a year after the efforts of the Trump administration to subsidize nuclear and coal-fired power plants have failed.

Last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected a request by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants. The agency said that Perry could not prove the need to subsidize such power plants.

source: latimes.com