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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.

Updated 15 mins ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.