As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it remains unclear what will happen to hundreds of thousands of acres of unreclaimed mine land in eastern Kentucky and the rest of Appalachia.
Bankrupt coal company Murray Energy has filed several notices warning of impending mass layoffs.
Recent developments in the Blackjewel bankruptcy case raise more doubts about whether the serious reclamation problems at many of its coal sites will be properly addressed anytime soon.
Three Virginia strip mines, neglected in the wake of the Blackjewel bankruptcy, may finally have a buyer. But it remains to be seen if the new company would be able to reclaim the land.
With the failure of coal operator ERP’s unconventional scheme, West Virginia must contend with the company’s environmental violations and mines in need of cleanup.
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.
A Senate bill would help fund miners’ pensions, including those affected by recent bankruptcies. In the House, a bill would re-instate a historic tax on coal companies to fund healthcare for miners with black lung disease.
Blackjewel and Revelation Energy’s July bankruptcy announcement is the latest in a long string of bankruptcies plaguing the coal industry. But this bankruptcy is different, and the troubles it brings could be a sign of more problems to come.