September 29, 2020
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a proposed joint venture between Peabody Energy and Arch Resources, two leading private coal companies based in St. Louis, according to the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk in St. Louis wrote that the Federal Trade Commission “has shown that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed joint venture will substantially impair competition in the market for Southern Powder River Basin coal.”
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In June 2019, Peabody and Arch proposed combining the country’s two most productive mines, which border each other in the 37,500-square-mile region in northeast Wyoming and southern Montana. Wyoming supported the companies’ joint venture, but the FTC in February moved to block the deal.
Both coal miners are under financial pressure as coal continues to slide as an energy source in the U.S. in favor of natural gas and renewable energy.
“We are deeply disappointed with the court’s decision as the intense all-fuels competition is clearly apparent to us,” Peabody President and CEO Glenn Kellow said in a statement. “Our focus now is on continuing to be the low-cost (Powder River Basin) coal provider to best compete against natural gas and subsidized renewables. We remain committed to ensuring our customers continue to have access to a reliable and affordable fuel source.”