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Old King Coal was a merry old soul, a merry old soul was he

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He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl and he filed for bankruptcy.

The largest privately owned U.S. coal mining company is seeking bankruptcy protection, despite a flurry of regulatory breaks that its CEO pushed for — and received — from the Trump administration.

Ohio-based Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Tuesday joining a growing list of bankrupt or struggling miners as utilities switch away from coal to cheaper and less-polluting renewable energy or natural gas. The company seeks to restructure nearly $3 billion in debt and obtained some $350 million in new loans to continue operating during the bankruptcy proceeding, Bloomberg News reported.

The filing marks a significant political failure for President Trump, who had sought to end what he called a “war on coal” by Democrats as a key part of his campaign and early presidency.

He had to destroy the coal industry to save it?

To be fair, the decline of coal – and coal mining jobs – was no secret, but this particular bag is very much in the grip of two small orange hands that belong to the man who once blarted “The coal industry is back!”

Government preference for gas and renewable energy to replace coal-fired power generation, combined with a recent severe reduction in coal exports, delivered a one-two punch that an over-extended Murray Energy could not withstand, said Cecil Roberts, president of United Mine Workers of America.

But I was told that trade wars are easily won. Maybe it reacted poorly with the war on coal. Or we’re seeing what happens when Republicans put a sadistic, shambling failson in office but this time there’s no war to distract everyone from what a dumblefuck he is and give him lots of stuff to fuck up in far away places.

At any rate, the UMWA knows what comes next: An attempt to screw over miners.

“Now comes the part where workers and their families pay the price for corporate decision-making and governmental actions,” Roberts said in a prepared statement. “But that does not mean we will sit idly by and let the company and the court dictate what happens to our members and our retirees. We have high-powered legal, financial and communications teams in place that will fight to protect our members’ interests in the bankruptcy court.”

It’s also likely the part when the DOPUS forgets that he ever heard of any such things as coal or coal miners.

Mr. Trump has lessened his call-outs for coal as the industry continues its decline despite his administration’s support.

Or maybe he’ll stick to his usual modus doperandi and talk about the coal mines and coal-fired energy plants are busting out all over. Right next to the steel plants. And the big strong men. With tears in their eyes. Believe me.

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