Last week, PacRim Coal told state and federal regulatory agencies that it would no longer pursue permitting for the Chuitna coal mine.
The state’s coal industry is shrinking fast; more than 10,000 workers have lost their jobs since 2008. A small firm in eastern Kentucky is turning unemployed coal workers into software developers.
The U.S. coal industry is fading. As more companies declare bankruptcy, they may not be able to pay for land restoration projects — and taxpayers could be left with the cleanup bill.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with plaintiffs in a ruling on September 3, in which the court rejected the defendant’s claim that the coal facility’s state – issued stormwater permit protects it from pollution liability. The appeals court has sent the matter back to federal district court.
About 60 percent of GVEA’s electricity is generated by coal and oil, including diesel.
Safety costs and weak coal market blamed for $45 million hit.