Peabody Energy assets in Routt County are unaffected by Patriot Coal bankruptcy

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— When a bankruptcy court judge allowed Patriot Coal to alter the structure of benefits for thousands of retirees on May 29, Peabody Energy’s name was thrown around quite a bit.

Patriot Coal began its life as a spinoff of Peabody Energy in 2007 but made acquisitions during the next few years that added to its assets and liabilities. Some of the retirees who are affected by Patriot’s bankruptcy worked for mines never associated with Peabody.

Peabody Energy owns Twentymile Mine and the new Sage Creek Mine in Routt County. Because those mines are Peabody Energy assets, benefits associated with their past and present workers are not affected by Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy.

Only those who worked for mines or assets that were owned by Patriot Coal are affected by the restructuring of obligations.

Peabody Energy contributed to the benefits of some retirees who worked for assets transferred to Patriot Coal. Peabody Energy has stated it will continue to live up to its obligations.

Patriot Coal sought a court order explicitly stating that Peabody Energy could not reduce its obligations, but it was rebuffed.

“In its order, the court fully agreed with Peabody's contractual position,” reads a May 29 statement from Peabody Energy. “Peabody will continue to meet its obligations, as affirmed by today's rulings.”

Patriot Coal continues to explore whether a lawsuit is possible to recoup money from Peabody Energy stemming from its creation in 2007.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

John St Pierre 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Last weeks decision was a testing of the waters..... now that its ok to dump all your responsibilites and debts into an entity designed to fail.... and walk away...

You think anyone in the coporate world was watching ????

Peabody created Patriot coal and gave it 21,000 PEABODY retirees with it and very little in assets... under the bankruptcy these people will have their healthcare & benefits cut by 75%...

Pretty funny to hear Peabody say in your article "Peabody Energy has stated it will continue to live up to its obligation". Question: What about all the men & women who help create & build Peabody coal in the first place??????????

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Scott Wedel 10 months, 3 weeks ago

John,

Looks to be valid points. Most of the retirees affected by the bankruptcy never worked for Patriot coal. They retired as Peabody workers and were assigned to Patriot coal when it was spun off of Peabody coal.

The real threat to current Peabody workers is the possibility that Peabody will do the same thing to them. That, in a few years, they will spin off another company with older inefficient coal mines along with lots of retirees to reduce their "legacy" costs.

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mark hartless 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Boy, this is a big problem for some people.

When it was individuals "dumping [their] responsibilities and debts" and otherwise weaseling out of their mortgages by using bankruptcy laws I don't recall hearing anything about that "outrage".

Of course this is dishonest, or at least it appears that way.

But why is that a problem? It is legal, right? I seem to distinctly remember Scott, in particular, using that EXACT argument a few months back... about how something was "legal" and therefore, OK...

Wonder why more people don't take responsibility for their OWN retirement, healthcare , and pensions?

People have become programmed to expect "others" to tend to their needs/obligations. Their employer pays their taxes, pays their healthcare, does their retirement savings for them. Their government assists with their retirement (social security), medical bills, disability savings, unemployment compensation, and now healthcare such as it will be.

And we wonder why more people are not prepared to stand on their own 2 feet...

Frankly, I see more of a sense of personal responsibility from birds with brains the size of a grape than from most of the American people. The birds are up every morning making a living and they are still at it come sundown. They know better than to depend on others to fulfill THEIR self-interest.

Sad...

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