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Blackhawk Mining is slated Friday to make a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing that the Kentucky-based coal producer says will cut 60% of its debt and enable $150 million in new financing.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a string of coal company bankruptcies, which began before President Trump's tenure but have picked up lately. They signal the challenge he faces in making good on pledges to revive the sector.

Where it stands: Here's a tally of what the firm S&P Global Market Intelligence calls major U.S. coal company bankruptcies since the start of 2017...

  • Blackjewel, July 1, 2019
  • Cambrian Holding, June 16, 2019
  • Cloud Peak Energy, May 10, 2019
  • Trinity Coal, March 4, 2019
  • Mission Coal, Oct. 14, 2018
  • Westmoreland Coal, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Armstrong Energy, Nov. 1, 2017

But, but, but: While the industry's long-term decline in power markets is well-known, it doesn't explain all the problems in the wider industry that's facing significant debt.

  • For one thing, Blackhawk and some others who filed for bankruptcy produce metallurgical coal used in steelmaking.

What's next: Wood Mackenzie coal analyst Tony Knutson says that "we expect Blackhawk will make it through restructuring without any issues."

  • "The market is better. It's OK domestically and on a little bit of a downswing right now in Europe and globally, but it is definitely a lot stronger than any of the thermal markets," he tells me.

Go deeper, via S&P Global: Met coal producer Blackhawk Mining filing for a bankruptcy court restructuring

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.