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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

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shutdown Plan B

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A "clean" continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.

Glenn Youngkin's play: Forever- and Never-Trumpers

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.