Virginia regulators, a surety insurance company, and two coal companies are playing hot potato with 22 of bankrupt Blackjewel’s coal permits — and none of them want to be left with the responsibility of reclaiming the sites.
With industry projections trending downwards, questions continue about whether the mine reclamation system can handle ongoing bankruptcies.
Murray Energy filed for bankruptcy in October, the latest of eight coal bankruptcies in 2019. Legal disputes regarding the summer Blackjewel bankruptcy continue.
After Blackjewel and Revelation Energy declared bankruptcy in July, the companies retroactively withdrew paychecks from their former employees’ bank accounts, triggering a nearly two-month long protest and several court battles.
Coal company bankruptcies are putting the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in further jeopardy.
An unreclaimed coal mine has sent mud and debris onto a neighboring property. The mine is one of five Virginia permits owned by bankrupt Revelation Energy and Blackjewel that are now facing bond forfeiture, which means the state or the mines’ insurance companies could take over the cleanup.
Bankrupt coal company Blackjewel owes nearly $10 million in taxes to the fund that provides benefits to miners with black lung disease whose employer has gone bankrupt.
Citizen scientists discovered that acid mine drainage is causing a creek in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest to flow a bright orange, and they spurred state regulators to issue citations to the mine operators. But mining company Revelation Energy is in bankruptcy, which leaves big questions about who will clean up the mess — and when.
Two coal company bankruptcies in July resulted in retroactively withdrawn paychecks from coal miners and an unclear future for roughly 13,000 acres of unreclaimed mine land.
Appalachia’s latest coal bankruptcy looks different than others — mines shut down immediately and paychecks were clawed back from employees’ bank accounts. We take a look at what the Blackjewel and Revelation Energy bankruptcy could mean for mine land reclamation.