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The Coal Miner That Bet Everything on U.S. Power and Lost

  • Cloud Peak sells coal for the shrinking power-plant market
  • Doesn’t benefit from demand for exports, steelmaking coal
Operations At The Savage Industries Co. Coal Processing Facility

Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

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Eleven years ago, Cloud Peak Energy Inc. made an all-or-nothing bet its rivals were unwilling to match: that coal would remain indispensable to the U.S. power sector.

That gamble has now pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.