Peabody Energy

Pure Play Peabody and Other U.S. Coal Kings Getting Pummelled in Stock Market

So far, 2016 has not been very kind to U.S. energy companies solely invested in coal production, and there is no indication that it's going to get better anytime soon. 

With cheap natural gas substituting coal for electricity production, a sustained downturn in coal demand in China, and tough new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, pure play coal companies like Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) and Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI), are having a horrible run of it. 

St. Louis-based Arch Coal filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, and that news saw trading immediately halted and proceedings undertaken to have Arch Coal delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Over the last ten years, Arch Coal's share price dropped from a high of $104.45 per share, to trading at a mere 15.5 cents this week prior to the halt to trading.

ExxonMobil, Peabody Coal Lobbying for Bill Preventing Climate Change Accounting in US Trade Deals

The day before global leaders and diplomats passed a climate change deal in Paris at the United Nations climate summit, the U.S. House of Representatives — in a 256-158 vote — authorized the final text of a bill that has a provision preventing climate change to be accounted for in all U.S. trade deals going forward.

That bill, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R.644), now may proceed for full-floor votes in both the House and the U.S. Senate after its conference report was agreed upon. A DeSmog review of lobbying records shows the bill has received heavy fossil fuel industry support. 

Major Climate Science Denial Groups Offer to Hide Fossil Fuel Funding, Greenpeace Investigation Finds

An undercover investigation by environment group Greenpeace has found some of the world’s most vocal climate science denial groups were willing to accept cash from fossil fuel interests in return for writing articles and reports that reject the impacts of greenhouses gases.

Greenpeace operatives posing as representatives of coal and oil companies were told that while the reports could be produced, there were ways that the sources of funding could be hidden.

Academics affiliated with leading US academic institutions Princeton and Penn State universities are implicated in the Greenpeace research.

Groups Hand 360,000 Signatures to Justice Department Calling for "Exxon Knew" Probe

Exxon social license revoked

With the hottest October in world history recorded recently, a slew of advocacy groups have delivered 360,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for a probe of petrochemical industry giant ExxonMobil's history of funding climate change denial despite what the company knew about climate science. 

The groups ranging from 350.org, Food and Watch Watch, Climate Parents, Moms Clean Air Force, The Nation, Sierra Club and others have asked DOJ to investigate what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when the company knew it, juxtaposing that insider knowledge, exposed by both InsideClimate News and The Los Angeles Times, with the climate change denial campaign it funded both in the past and through to the present

Peabody Energy Investigation in Late Stages: New York Attorney General Probe

Powder River Basin coal

This is a guest post by Dan Zegart, crossposted from Climate Investigations Center.

Update: Peabody Energy announced today that it has reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General's office regarding its climate change disclosures to investors on the financial risks of its business.

A probe by the New York state attorney general of Peabody Energy for allegedly not warning investors about climate change-related financial risks is close to being settled, according to sources close to the investigation.

The news accompanied the announcement on November 6th by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of his investigation of ExxonMobil, which apparently will zero in on the contradiction between the company's own scientific research confirming the hazards of global warming and its subsequent funding of climate denial to protect its profits.

Schneiderman, who had been under increasing pressure to investigate energy companies for allegedly covering up the hazards of fossil fuel use, issued an 18-page subpoena for a wide assortment of records from ExxonMobil dating back to January 1, 1977. The company must respond by December 4th.

The attorney general's office also confirmed that the probe of Peabody Energy, the country's largest coal producer, originally launched in 2007 under then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, was renewed in  2013 with fresh demands for information from the company.

A source familiar with the investigation said a settlement may be forthcoming “very soon.”

Coal Export Industry's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

This is a guest post by Clark Williams-Derry, crossposted from Sightline.

What a week! The bad financial news for coal export prospects in Washington, Oregon, and BC has come almost too quickly to track. So for those of you who don’t follow the coal press as religiously as I do, here’s a brief summary of all of the goings-on in Northwest coal export finance over the last week or so…

Morgan Stanley Targeted Over Coal Financing

Earlier this year, Bank of America and Credit Agricole both announced they were moving away from financing coal, citing a number of factors, among them the threat of future regulation due to coal’s impact on the planet and human health and pressure from environmental activists.

Now the Rainforest Action Network is targeting Morgan Stanley with calls to meet or beat its Wall Street colleagues’ commitments by adopting policies to end its financing for companies involved in coal mining and coal-fired power.

Peabody Energy 'Experts' Sow Doubt About Reality of Climate Change

According to publicly available court records, US coal company Peabody Energy recently submitted expert testimony to the Minnesota Public Utilities commission arguing that, CO2 is not harmful and is actually good for the planet” and that “there is no empirical scientific evidence for significant climate effects of rising CO2 levels, and there is no convincing evidence that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will produce catastrophic climate changes.”

These statements and many more were included in “expert” presentations made to the Minnesota Public Utilities commission in June of this year by Roy Spencer and Roger Bezdek, who were both testifying on behalf of Peabody Energy.

The hearings were conducted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission which is investigating the environmental and socioeconomic costs of carbon and greenhouse gases.

Roger Bezdek, an economist and president of a consulting firm called Management Information Services, Inc, offered testimony on behalf of Peabody Energy on June 1, 2015.

Top US Environmental Group Calls Out Matt Ridley’s Climate Denial

It seems Viscount Matt Ridley is gaining international recognition for his climate denial as US environmental advocacy group the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) calls into question his “rational optimism”.

Labelling the coal mine owner “England’s most prominent global warming sceptic,” Brian Palmer of the NRDC’s onEarth magazine writes: “Ridley is one of the most capable spokesmen for climate change denial 2.0.”

With the highest respect for what Ridley has accomplished in a distinguished career, I believe his position amounts to climate change denial on stilts,” Palmer argues. “Ridley’s view is akin to an alcoholic saying he’s not in denial about his problem because he fully acknowledges that he sometimes drinks a beer. Denying the severity of a problem is to deny the problem itself.”

Coal Baron Matt Ridley is Top Source in Peabody Climate Report to the White House

British climate denier and coal baron Matt Ridley is the most cited individual in coal giant Peabody Energy’s official submission to the White House addressing the company’s concerns regarding new policies proposed by the US Government around greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The 71-page document on the government’s National Environmental Policy Act, uncovered by DeSmogBlog, declares that greenhouse gases are a “non-existent harm”. Ridley’s opinion articles, such as one professing “fossil fuels will save the world” published in the Wall Street Journal, form much of the basis for the coal company’s arguments submitted in March.

Ridley writes frequently in the Wall Street Journal and the Times promoting fossil fuels, while at the same time earning considerable wealth from coal mining. The peer’s Blagdon Estate, north of Newcastle, covers a significant part of two opencast mines.

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