Arch Coal is bankrupt, what does it mean for the Otter Creek Valley?
“If I were the court, I probably wouldn’t let them abandon it,” Tubbs said. "There’s value to the Otter Creek development that for the sake of its shareholders and creditors Arch Coal shouldn't walk away from," he said.Tubbs isn't a bankruptcy court - which I think we can all be grateful for - and unless it is a personal hobby of his study the bankruptcy proceedings of coal companies, he has no idea what is in the best interest of Arch Coal's shareholders and creditors. Furthermore, Tubbs works for the public. He should be commenting on what is in the best interest of the people in the state of Montana, not Arch Coal. Tubbs could have commented on some facts about Arch Coal and their bankruptcy. Here are some:
- Arch Coal owes the state of Montana $67,000 for work completed on the draft environmental impact statement.
- Arch Coal has $450 million dollars in reclamation liabilities across the country. This is a conservative estimate.
- According to University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Arch Coal would need almost $1 billion dollars to construct a greenfield mine in the Otter Creek Valley, not to mention their share of the $400 million dollar cost to build the Tongue River Railroad.
- The Tongue River Railroad Company has asked the Surface Transportation Board to stop all work on the permitting and environmental impact statement process.
- Arch Coal is already trying to reduce their reclamation liability under the bankruptcy proceeding. Arch asked a bankruptcy judge on Monday to put aside $75 million for future clean-up costs far less than the $450 million that regulators foresee needing.
- As Arch Coal was hemorrhaging money, their CEO's compensation package almost doubled. He made $7.3 million in 2014, double what he made in 2013.