Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI), Corporate Updates And Changing EPA Policy


Dallas, Texas 12/10/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) is yet fighting a 2011 veto of a mining permit and in the latest move its subsidiary Mingo Logan Coal Co. filed an appeal notice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case is related to the Spruce No. 1 mine.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) vetoed the mine’s permit in 2011, which was later ruled by the U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, citing that the agency overstepped its authority.

However, in 2013, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia favored the agency, citing it acted within its authority. In the following action, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the company’s appeal to restore the Logan County mine’s permit.

The EPA and Coal Mining

The EPA is set to change its Coal-Ash Rule by the next week and it is anticipated to impact many coal miners as they will require changing how they deal with coal ash. The agency is also expected to bring some more restrictions, which it hasn’t released yet.

The proposed change aims at classifying coal-ash as ‘special waste’ under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The agency is weighing such rules for at least four years by now.

Ahead of the proposed changes, coal miners have already started facing pressure on their stock prices. Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) and Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) have already shed more than 13% through December.

Budget Cuts For the EPA

A recent release of government spending bill highlighted series of policy measures to hinder ambitious environmental regulations, including measures to control mining waste.

One such provision is expected to boost the U.S. exports of coal, which restricts the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corp from withholding funds from coal-fired power generation projects that do not comply with emission standards.