The Long Slow Death Of the Coal Industry......
This is good news for Climate Change. Coal is public enemy #1 in the Climate Change battle. Coal is one of the biggest emitters of CO2 gas. Not burning coal helps minimizes the problem. This is key to reversing climate change.
Once the financing goes away so does the coal. This is a great thing.
Lets hope it continues.
JPMorgan Chase, announced two weeks ago that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other wealthy nations.
The retreat follows similar announcements by Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley that they are, in one way or another, backing away from coal.
While coal has been declining over the last several years, Wall Street’s broad retreat is an ominous sign for the industry.
“There are always going to be periods of boom and bust,” said Chiza Vitta, a metals and mining analyst with the credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s. “But what is happening in coal is a downward shift that is permanent.”
On Wednesday the world’s largest private-sector coal company, Peabody Energy, said that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection, following a path already taken by three of the nation’s other large coal companies.
Peabody has been trying to sell three of its mines in Colorado and New Mexico to raise cash. But the sale to Bowie Resource Partners appears to have stalled amid the difficult financing environment.
Some banks say they are trying to do their part to curtail climate change by moving away from coal projects and financing ventures that produce less carbon.
But bankers also say there is a more basic reason for the shift: Lending to coal companies is too risky and could ultimately prove unprofitable.
Coal companies are being squeezed by competition from less expensive energy sources like natural gas and by stiffer regulations — pressures that show no signs of letting up.
As a result, even the most secure loans — like those made to companies emerging from bankruptcy, known as debtor-in-possession loans — are increasingly off limits for many banks, according to bankers and industry lawyers.
And it is not just big banks. Even many more daring investors like hedge funds and private equity firms, which are usually eager to pounce on industries in distress, are shying away from coal because of deep uncertainty about its future.
Environmental groups, meanwhile, are hoping the banks’ reluctance will hasten the collapse of coal. Groups like the Rainforest Action Network have been pressuring banks for months to reduce coal lending.
“With much of the world committed to stabilizing the climate, we need the banks to follow quickly with measures to end coal financing altogether,”