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Funding package includes coal miners' pensions; Bloomberg wants coal-free energy


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Funding package includes coal miners' pensions; Bloomberg wants coal-free energy

Final funding package includes bill to secure coal miners' pensions, healthcare
After threatening to block all bills until Congress secured the pensions and healthcare for coal miners and their dependents, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announced that his bipartisan legislation to do so was included in the final funding package to keep the government open beyond Dec. 20. The legislation will protect the pensions and healthcare of nearly 100,000 coal miners, securing the lifetime healthcare benefits for the 13,000 miners who would have lost them entirely and 92,000 miners' pensions that would have been "gutted" in 2020 without action, Manchin said in a Dec. 16 release.

White House contender Bloomberg wants coal-free, 100% clean energy by 2050
Former New York City Mayor and 2020 White House hopeful Mike Bloomberg called to shut down all U.S. coal plants by 2030 and for the country to rely fully on clean energy by 2050 as part of a campaign energy plan released Dec. 13. With the release of the proposal, Bloomberg joins several other top Democratic presidential contenders who have pledged to move the U.S. to 100% clean energy if elected.

US senators introduce bipartisan bill to promote coal-derived carbon products
U.S. lawmakers proposed bipartisan legislation Dec. 12 to support the research and development of coal-derived carbon products. Introduced in the U.S. Senate, the Creating Opportunities and Leveraging Technologies for Coal Carbon Act, or COAL TeCC Act, proposes to establish a program within the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the research and promotion of coal-derived carbon products.

Big energy bill, confirmation of FERC nominee not likely until 2020
With a little over a week left until Congress adjourns for 2019, the U.S. Senate will likely defer major planned action on energy until 2020. That action includes voting on confirmation of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly and introducing broad energy legislation that contains proposals that the Senate Committee on Energy and Commerce approved in 2019.

Murray Energy lenders fire back on union, Consol objections to bankruptcy plan
An ad hoc group of superpriority lenders denounced objections from a coal miner union and Consol Energy Inc. in Murray Energy Corp.'s bankruptcy case, saying the two entities are seeking to second-guess the debtors. Murray Energy and certain of its affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection in October and have since submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan that involves the formation of a stalking horse bidder, a sale of substantially all of its assets and a proposal to wind down the estate.

Judge authorizes Murray Energy to obtain $440M in postpetition financing
A federal judge authorized Murray Energy Corp. and certain affiliates to obtain up to $440 million in postpetition financing under a superpriority debtor-in-possession credit facility as part of an ongoing bankruptcy restructuring. Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late October and subsequently submitted a plan to establish a stalking horse bidder to make an offer on its assets.

Murray Energy submits plan to sell off assets, wind down estate in restructuring
Murray Energy Corp. filed a restructuring proposal that includes plans to sell off substantially all of its assets and wind down the estate. The largest privately-owned U.S. coal producer filed for bankruptcy protection in October. The company owns and operates 13 active mines across Northern, Central and Southern Appalachia as well as the Illinois Basin, Uinta Basin and in Colombia, according to court documents. A more challenging market in recent years resulted in dozens of coal company bankruptcies since 2008, which Murray Energy and its affiliates had avoided until recently.

US EPA sees no need for new financial requirements for petroleum, coal sectors
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to not impose additional financial requirements for the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industry. The regulator said that existing federal and state regulations, as well as the industry's current practices, already address the financial risk to the federal government from the sector.

Hazard Coal challenges American Resources lease bid in Cambrian bankruptcy
The owner of eastern Kentucky coal properties disputed the validity of American Resources Corp.'s bid for their leases in Cambrian Coal Corp.'s bankruptcy proceedings. Hazard Coal Corp., which owns the properties in Perry County, Ky., wrote in a Dec. 10 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky that its lease with Perry County Coal LLC, a subsidiary of Cambrian, expired four days before the debtors filed for bankruptcy protection. Hazard alleges that it terminated the lease after the debtor missed its annual minimum royalty payment, triggering an event of default.