Big U.S. coal miner Alpha Natural files for bankruptcy

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BY TOM HALS

Alpha Natural Resources Inc, one of the largest U.S. coal companies, became the latest in the hard-hit industry to seek bankruptcy on Monday.

The move comes as President Barack Obama is expected to unveil tough new measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Alpha blamed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy on tougher regulatory standards and policies that favor renewable energy, as well tumbling prices for its coal.

Alpha is the world’s third-largest supplier of metallurgical coal used in making steel and has also been hit by a slowdown in China.

Walter Energy Inc and Patriot Coal Corp also filed for bankruptcy protection this year. Energy Future Holdings Corp, a power company that also has a large coal mining business, has been in bankruptcy since 2014.

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