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Coal giant Peabody Energy is writing down the value of its huge North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming by $1.42 billion, the company announced yesterday.

Why it matters: It's the world's largest coal mine, per several reports, and the write-down is a stark sign of the coal sector's wider struggles in a changing power mix.

  • The move came as Peabody posted an overall second-quarter loss of $1.54 billion.

The big picture: The write-down was the result of "changes in multiple assumptions, including lower long-term natural gas prices, timing of coal plant retirements and continued growth from renewable generation," the company said.

  • Coal's share of the U.S. electricity mix has been declining for years, and the country's coal production last year hit its lowest level since 1978, with continued declines occurring this year.

What they're saying: The pandemic is adding to the sector's woes, Moody's analyst Benjamin Nelson tells the Financial Times.

  • “The longer the pandemic plays out, the more early retirements [of coal-fired plants] and permanent demand destruction from coal we’ll see,” Nelson said.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 30, 2020 - Energy & Environment

ExxonMobil posts loss and plans big job cuts

Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

ExxonMobil reported a $680 million quarterly loss on Friday and announced plans for steep spending cuts, which comes just a day after it revealed plans for major layoffs.

Why it matters: The announcements signal how the company, which has made huge investments in supply expansions in recent years, is struggling to adjust to the sector's new reality.

1 hour ago - World

Map: A look at world population density in 3D

This fascinating map is made by Alasdair Rae of Sheffield, England, a former professor of urban studies who is the founder of Automatic Knowledge. It shows world population density in 3D.

Details: "No land is shown on the map, only the locations where people actually live. ... The higher the spike, the more people live in an area. Where there are no spikes, there are no people (e.g. you can clearly identify ... the Sahara Desert)."

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.