Coal giant exploits the global poor to save its own hide

Posted: December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Grist

The outlook for coal — especially thermal coal, the kind used to make electricity — is increasingly grim. Developed countries are seeing flat demand and rapid shifts to natural gas and renewables. Several western investment banks are shifting their funding to renewables. Developing-world demand is still on the rise, but China, which has single-handedly supported coal export markets for over a decade, is planning to cap its use of coal and vastly increase its use of renewable energy by 2020. Banking giant Goldman-Sachs has warned of a rapidly closing window for profitable thermal coal projects; “most thermal coal growth projects will struggle to earn a positive return for their owners,” it says.

Naturally, Big Coal is desperate to halt its decline. And as the largest privately owned coal company in the world, one of the few big energy players devoted solely to coal, Peabody Energy is the most…

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