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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.

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.