Editorial Board

The Lessons of a Coal Giant's Collapse

Peabody Energy demonstrates the folly of letting mining companies promise to clean up after themselves.

Somebody has to clean this up.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

The bankruptcy of Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal producer, is the most vivid illustration yet of the market's deep and welcome shift away from coal. It could also be calamitous for the environment: If Peabody goes out of business, who will clean up the pollution it has left behind?

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