Largest privately owned US coal mining company files for bankruptcy protection

Ohio-based Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy joining a growing list of bankrupt or struggling miners as utilities switch away from coal.

The company seeks to restructure nearly $3 billion in debt and obtained some $350 million in new loans to continue operating during the bankruptcy proceeding.

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Murray Energy was the country’s fourth largest coal producer in 2018, accounting for 6% of total production, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The collapse comes despite federal rescue attempts. The deregulatory push has been unable to offset market forces. Coal has been unable to compete with cheap natural gas and the falling cost of solar power, wind and other forms of renewable energy.

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