Court upholds decision to prevent Wyoming coal merger

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal court said it would uphold a Federal Trade Commission decision to block a proposed merger between two leading Wyoming coal companies.

The FTC had said a merger between Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Resources Inc. would have created a monopoly that could have resulted in higher energy prices for customers, said Rob Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming College of Business.

A U.S. District Court upheld that opinion on Tuesday.

The Gillette News Record reported that Arch Resources accounted for roughly 28% of coal production in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin in 2019. However, the company’s revenue has steadily decreased as coal demand in Wyoming has gradually declined over the years.

A decade ago, Wyoming’s coal basin produced over 400 million tons of the natural resource. Last year, the area produced just 267 million tons of coal, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Peabody Energy accounts for nearly 32% of the area’s total, producing 85.3 million tons of coal in 2019. That figure is down 16% from 101.6 million tons just two years prior.

Gov. Mark Gordon and the state of Wyoming were in favor of the merger.

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