Peabody Coal's Bankruptcy: Invisible Hand Pushes Peabody Under

Read time: 2 mins
This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup crossposted from Daily Kos.
 
The world’s largest privately owned coal company, Peabody Energy Corporation, filed for bankruptcy this week. This is the latest in a string of big bankruptcies in the industry, as Alpha, Arch and Patriot Coal have all gone under recently. As Alpha and Arch’s filings both revealed funding for anti-climate activists, perhaps Peabody's filing will reveal more information about the company's attempt toportray coal as an answer to poverty.

Regardless, this bankruptcy has already triggered a fresh wave of attacks about President Obama's supposed “War on Coal.” Bizarrely, one column at the American Thinker contradicted itself by saying that the “war on coal claimed its most significant victim” before concluding that regulations “are not playing a decisive role in Peabody’s troubles.” As usual, the reality is more complicated than the catchphrase.

Since climate regulations aren’t to blame, what is? With a single sentence, Kate Sheppard explains the situation: “What’s driving the coal industry into bankruptcy is the free market — competition from cheaper, more abundant natural gas and renewable energy.”

It would stand to reason, then, that the various denier groups that glorify the free market would hail this bankruptcy as a triumph of capitalism’s omniscient invisible hand at work.
Instead, they’ll probably ignore reality and stick to their “War on Coal” talking points, since they're as intellectually bankrupt as these coal companies are literally bankrupt.


Image credit: A protest outside of Peabody Coal in St. Louis, by tolkien1914 via Flickr CC.
 
Get DeSmog News and Alerts