Increasing Worry Over ‘Hundreds of Million, if Not Billions’ in U.S. Coal Mine Cleanup Costs

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Steven Mufson and Joby Warrick for the Washington Post:A worsening financial crisis for the nation’s biggest coal companies is sparking concerns that U.S. taxpayers could be stuck with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in cleanup costs across a landscape of shuttered mines stretching from Appalachia to the northern Plains.Worries about huge liabilities associated with hundreds of polluted mine sites have mounted as Peabody Energy, the world’s largest publicly traded coal company, was forced to appeal to creditors for an extra 30 days to pay its debts. Two of the four other biggest U.S. coal companies have declared bankruptcy in the past six months.Under a 1977 federal law, coal companies are required to clean up mining sites when they’re shut down. But the industry’s plummeting fortunes have raised questions about whether companies can fulfill their obligations to rehabilitate vast strip mines in Western states — many of which are on federally owned property — as well as mountaintop-removal mining sites in the East.A number of smaller companies have defaulted or skimped on cleanup obligations, leaving behind abandoned strip mines and denuded mountains. Some are simply eyesores, unhealed scars on the landscape that can be seen for miles. Others are perpetual sources of water pollution, slowly leaking acidic and otherwise toxic wastes into streams and groundwater supplies.Now coal giants are facing outcomes similar to those experienced by some of the smaller companies. Several are struggling to make payments on debts for ill-timed multibillion-dollar acquisitions of their rivals in recent years. On top of that, they have been financially squeezed by competition from cheap natural gas and declining U.S. and Chinese demand for coal.The biggest coal companies typically pay third parties to ensure that mine sites are cleaned up in the event of financial hardship. But in recent years, many coal companies have relied on a cheaper technique called “self-bonding,” pledging only their own names and financial wherewithal to guarantee their cleanup obligations.With mounting losses and debt loads, the companies do not have enough money to pay for all their obligations, and self-bonding is “not worth [the] paper [it’s] written on,” Steve Jakubowski, a bankruptcy lawyer with the firm Robbins, Salomon & Patt, said in an email. In a bankruptcy, where Alpha Natural Resources is now, a judge can decide which creditors are paid and how much — and state and federal governments could be left holding the bag for reclamation costs.“There is a lot of liability out there and a lot of uncertainty,” said Shannon Anderson, a lawyer with the Power River Basin Resource Council, a Wyoming nonprofit group that supports tougher rules for cleaning up mine sites.Full article: Can coal companies afford to clean up coal country? Increasing Worry Over ‘Hundreds of Million, if Not Billions’ in U.S. Coal Mine Cleanup Costslast_img read more

NFF Electoral Committee Amends 2018 Electoral Timetable

first_imgThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Electoral Committee has rolled out a new timetable for elections into the NFF Executive Committee 2018-2022, with intending candidates now able to buy and return forms within a fresh grace period of Friday, 17th and Friday, 24th August 2018.According to the new timetable, screening of candidates will now be done between 27th and 29th August, with names of candidates to be published on Thursday, 30th August.Protests and appeals will be heard and treated between 4th and 6th September, after same must have been submitted between 31st August and 3rd September. Publication of final list of candidates will be done on Friday, 7th September. Elections into the NFF Executive Committee 2018-2022 will hold on Thursday, 20th September 2018.“Consequent upon the resolutions of the NFF Extra-Ordinary General Assembly held in Benin City on Thursday, 2nd August 2018, the amendments to the 2018 Nigeria Football Federation Elections Time Table have been adopted by the Electoral Committee, as the statutory provisions of the 2010 NFF Statutes, NFF Electoral Code 2009 and Guidelines of Elections into the NFF 2018 have been suspended by the Congress,” the NFF statement concluded.THE AMENDED 2018 NFF ELECTIONS TIME TABLE1. Continuation of Sales, Endorsements and Return of Nomination Forms, Friday 17th – Friday, 24th August, 2018, by 9.00am-6:00pm daily.2. Screening of Candidature, Monday, 27th – Wednesday, 29th August, 2018, by 10:00am-5;00pm daily.3. Release of the names of candidates, Thursday, 30th August, 2018.4. Submission of Protests/Appeals Friday, 31st August – Monday, 3rd September, 2018.5. Hearing of Protests/Appeals, Tuesday, 4th – Thursday, 6th September, 2018.6. Release/Publication of the final list of Candidates, Friday, 7th September, 2018.7. 2018 NFF Elections, Thursday, 20th September, 2018.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more