• US authorities vote not to allow coal miners to merge

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The US Federal Trade Commission has voted against allowing the country’s two largest coal mining companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, to merge. With coal miners struggling, the merger was an attempt by the two companies to reduce operating costs to become more competitive in the face of challenges from gas, solar and wind energy, but the FTC decided that the venture would eliminate “substantial head-to-head competition” that would “likely raise coal prices to power-generating utilities”. Domestic coal consumption by coal-fired power stations has reduced by more than 50% since 2008, a clear sign of the difficult market conditions miners face; the announcement by the FTC has led to significant share (stock) price falls for both companies. All five of the FTC’s commissioners have been appointed by President Donald Trump.