Patriot Coal, one of the largest producers of thermal coal for power stations in the U.S., announced on Monday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“The coal industry is undergoing a major transformation and Patriot’s existing capital structure prevents it from making the necessary adjustments to achieve long-term success,” said Patriot Chairman and CEO Irl F. Engelhardt in a statement.
“Our objective is to use the reorganization process to address important issues in an orderly way and make the Company stronger and more competitive,” he added.
Although the bankruptcy news is unfortunate, it’s not entirely surprising. Indeed, for the last couple of years, the coal industry has been battling three specific elements: competition from natural gas, warmer winters, and, of course, the policies of the Obama administration.
The last of these three has been particularly damaging to the industry, according to FreedomWorks’ Tom Borelli.
“The coal industry‘s going to go bankrupt because of President Obama’s boot against their throat,” said Borelli during a panel discussion on Fox Business.
“From the start, his Energy Secretary [Steven] Chu called coal his ‘worst nightmare.’ Biden once said ‘no coal [plants here] in America.’ The president has had a hostile, aggressive stance against coal and now we’re seeing the impact on hardworking everyday Americans,” he added.
“He’s talking about job outsourcing with Bain Capital,” Borelli said, referring to recent accusations the Obama reelection campaign has leveled against GOP rival Mitt Romney, “My God! Look what he’s doing to hardworking Americans in Kentucky, in West Virginia.”
“Then he wonders why unemployment is so high. He’s driving people to that government plantation and to food stamps,” he added.
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