Peabody Energy

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Peabody Energy, Inc.
Traded as NYSEBTU
Industry Metals and Mining
Founded 1883 (1883) (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Key people

Gregory H. Boyce, Chairman and CEO

Glenn L. Kellow, President and CEO-Elect[1]
Revenue Decrease US$ 6.79 Billion[2]
Decrease US$ (135.1) Million[2]
Decrease US$ (777.3) Million[2]
Total assets Decrease US$ 13.19 Billion[2]
Total equity Decrease US$ 2.72 Billion[2]
Number of employees
approx. 8,300[3]

Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSEBTU), is the largest private-sector coal company in the world.[4] Its primary business consists of the mining, sale and distribution of coal, which is purchased for use in electricity generation and steelmaking. Peabody also markets, brokers and trades coal through offices in China, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and the United States. Other commercial initiatives include the development of mine-mouth coal-fueled plants, the management of coal reserve holdings, and technologies to transform coal to natural gas and transportation fuels.

The coal produced by Peabody Energy fuels approximately 10% of the electricity generated in the United States and 2% of electricity generated throughout the world. In 2014, Peabody Energy recorded sales of 249.8 million tons of coal.[2] Peabody markets coal to electricity generating and industrial customers in more than 25 nations on six continents. As of December 31, 2013, the company had approximately eight billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.[5]

Peabody Energy maintains ownership of majority interests in 27 surface and underground mining operations located throughout the United States and Australia.[6] In the United States, company-owned mines are located in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana. Peabody's largest operation is the North Antelope Rochelle Mine located in Campbell County, Wyoming, mining more than 117 million tons of coal in 2014.[7] Peabody spun off coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky into Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE: PCX) in October 2007. In October 2011, Peabody acquired a majority ownership stake in Queensland-based Macarthur Coal Ltd, which specializes in the production of metallurgical coal, primarily seaborne pulverized injection coal.[8]

Peabody Energy earned Energy Company of the Year and CEO of the Year at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards.[9] Peabody was listed as number 365 on the Fortune 500 list of companies in 2014.[10] The company was named to Fortune Magazine's list of America's Most Admired Companies in 2008, ranking first in the "Mining, Crude-Oil Production" industry in: Innovation, People Management, Social Responsibility, Financial Soundness, et al.[11] In Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings—comparisons of the environmental footprint, management, and transparency of the largest public companies in America—Peabody Energy was ranked 493rd out of 500 in all industries and 29th out of 31 in the energy industry. The company received the worst possible Environmental Impact score.[12]

The company is headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.[13]


Early years (1883 – 1959)[edit]

The Peabody Energy company was originally founded as Peabody, Daniels & Company in 1883 by Francis Peabody, the son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, and a partner.[14] The company bought coal from established mines and sold it to homes and businesses in the Chicago area. In the late 1880s, Francis Peabody bought out his partner's share of the business and the company was incorporated in the state of Illinois under the name Peabody Coal Company in 1890. In 1895, it began operations of its first mine in Williamson County, Illinois and later expanded its operations in Illinois.[15] In 1913, the company won its first long-term contract to supply Chicago Edison Company, the predecessor to utility Commonwealth Edison.[16] The company's growth continued after World War I and the corporation went public for the first time in 1929 with a listing on the Midwest Stock Exchange and in 1949, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[17]

Despite being ranked eighth among the country's top coal producers in the mid 1950s, Peabody began to lose market share to companies operating cost-efficient surface mining operations.[15] To address the situation, it entered into merger talks with Sinclair Coal Company. A merger between the two companies occurred in 1955, resulting in the transfer of Peabody's headquarters to St. Louis, Missouri. The merged company retained the Peabody name.[17] Under the leadership of chairman Russell Kelce, the company expanded production and sales.[15]

The Bucyrus Erie 3850-B Power Shovel named "Big Hog" went to work next door to Paradise Fossil Plant for Peabody Coal Company's ( Peabody Energy ) Sinclair Surface Mine in 1962. When it started work it was received with grand fanfare and was the Largest Shovel in The World with a bucket size of 115 cubic yards. After it finished work in the mid 1980s, it was buried in a pit on the mine's property. It remains there still today.


In 1962, Peabody expanded into the Pacific with the opening of mining operations in Queensland, Australia.[15] During this period Peabody also forged an equity partnership with the Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and the Australian construction company Thiess Holdings.[18] In 1968, the company was purchased by the Kennecott Copper Corporation. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission challenged the purchase as an antitrust violation. In 1976, the FTC ordered Kennecott to divest itself of Peabody. The newly created Peabody Holding Company purchased the Peabody Coal business of Kennecott for $1.1 billion, and a consortium of companies controlled Peabody-Holding.[17]

In the 1980s, Peabody expanded its operations in the Eastern United States, acquiring the West Virginia coal mines of Armco Inc in 1984.[19] The company sought to broaden its metallurgical coal portfolio through the purchase of Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates' seven West Virginia mines in 1987.[15] Peabody also expanded westward, opening the North Antelope and Rochelle mines in the low sulfur Wyodak seam in the heart of Wyoming's Powder River Basin in 1983 and 1984, respectively.[18]

The passage of the Clean Air Act amendments in 1990 prompted the closure of some Peabody mines. However, other mines under its ownership were able to remain in operation due to the implementation of new equipment and procedures that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions.[15] Stricter requirements outlined in Phase II of the legislation also prompted Peabody to invest in emissions reducing technologies. In 1990, the U.K.-based conglomerate Hanson plc, one of the owners of Peabody Holding at the time, bought out the rest of the owners.[20]

In 1993, Peabody Energy expanded their holdings in the Pacific with the acquisition of three mines in Australia and subsequently developed a fourth operation in New South Wales.[21] Peabody also expanded its operations domestically with acquisitions in New Mexico in 1993 and Wyoming in 1994 and assumed a stake in Black Beauty, a Midwest producer, in response to increased demand for metallurgical coal.[15][22]


In 1996, Hanson demerged Peabody and Eastern Group under the name The Energy Group. When TXU acquired The Energy Group, Peabody was sold to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners. The company filed an initial public offering (IPO) in May 2001, and since this time it has operated as a publicly traded company.[15] In 2002, Peabody launched its Peabody Energy Australia Coal Co. following the acquisition of the Wilkie Creek Mine in Queensland's Surat Basin.[23] The North Goonyella coal mine was acquired by Peabody in 2004.[24] In October 2006, Peabody completed an acquisition of Excel Coal Limited, an independent coal company in Australia. Peabody paid $1.52 billion for Excel and also assumed $227 million of Excel's debt. At the time, Excel owned three operating mines and three development-stage mines in Australia. Additionally, Excel had an estimated 500 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves.[25] As of 2011, Peabody's Australian mining operations are located in Queensland and New South Wales. Most of the company's Australian production is metallurgical coal.[26]

The company also advanced a number of coal-to-liquids and coal-to-gas projects to reduce emissions during the decade.[27] On August 30, 2007, Ernie Fletcher, the governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky signed into state law a bill that will provide approximately $300 million in incentives to Peabody to build a coal gasification plant in that state.[28] The resulting incentives were provisioned in the form of breaks on sales taxes, incentive taxes and coal severance taxes.[28] In 2007, Peabody and a consortium of municipal electric cooperatives began construction on the 1600-megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus clean coal project in Lively Grove, Illinois.[29] The company now retains five percent equity stake in the project, which is expected to begin generating power for customers in 2011.[30] At the 2010 World Energy Congress, Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce proposed a plan that advocated for the expanded use of coal worldwide, placing emphasis on geographic areas with limited or no access to electricity.[31]

Areas of business[edit]

Peabody Energy's world headquarters is in St. Louis, and as of 2014 it also maintains offices in London, Beijing, Singapore, Brisbane, Sydney, Essen, Balikpapan,and Jakarta.[32][33][34] In the U.S. West, Peabody operates Powder River Basin operations in Wyoming as well as other mining operations in Arizona and New Mexico. Operations in the U.S. Midwest consist of mines in Indiana and Illinois. Peabody also operates a single underground mine in Colorado. All of these assets are occupied with the mining, preparation, and selling of coal to utility companies or steelmakers.[33]

Peabody's Australian operations consist of metallurgical and thermal coal mining operations in Queensland and New South Wales. Purchasers of its coal product include Australian utility companies or steel producers.[35]

The Trading and Brokerage function is primarily concerned with the brokering of coal sales, trading coal, and freight or freight-related contracts.[36] A smaller division of Peabody Energy deals with mining, export and transportation joint ventures, energy related commercial activities, and the management of Peabody's operations and holdings. With growing demand for coal across Asian markets, especially in China, Indonesia, and India, Peabody has expanded its presence in Asia through offices in China, Indonesia, and Singapore.[36]

Black Mesa controversy[edit]

In 1964 Peabody Energy subsidiary Peabody Western Coal signed a series off-lease agreements with the Navajo tribe and two years later with the Hopi tribe for mineral rights as well as use of a water source on the Black Mesa, a 2.1-million-acre highland in Northeast Arizona.[37] The company's contracts with the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe were approved despite opposition from those who disputed the authority of the official tribal councils.[38] They were also negotiated by natural resources attorney John Sterling Boyden, who represented the Hopi tribe but whose firm had also represented Peabody in other legal matters, contributing to allegations of a conflict of interest.[39]

When rail negotiations to transport coal from the project broke down, Peabody designed a coal slurry pipeline similar to a natural gas pipeline to transport the coal 273 miles to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada. The company pumped potable water from the underground Navajo Aquifer (N-aquifer) to supply the slurry pipeline, a solution that generated controversy. The Navajo Aquifer is a main source of potable water for the Navajo and Hopi tribes, who use the water for farming and livestock maintenance as well as drinking and other domestic uses. Members of the tribes as well as outside environmental groups have alleged that the pumping of water by Peabody Energy has caused contamination of water sources and a severe decline in potable water. Peabody contends that operations consumed only one percent of the aquifer's water.[15]

Peabody developed and operated two strip mines on the Black Mesa reservation: the Black Mesa Mine and the Kayenta Mine. The Black Mesa Mine suspended operations in 2006 after the mine's sole customer, the Mohave Station, was retired. The site was fully decommissioned in January 2010.[40] Operations at the Kayenta Mine continue today.

Environmental record[edit]

The practice of extracting coal from the earth for energy production purposes has been the subject of controversy for an extended duration of time. The Sierra Club has expressed concern regarding Peabody Energy's initial opposition to the Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations, as well as its support for the expanded use of coal generated electricity as a means of meeting increasing worldwide energy usage demands.[41] The Natural Resources Defense Council has been critical of Peabody's advocacy for expanding coal generated electricity in the U.S., specifically on account of the environmental impacts of surface mining operations.[42] The environmental impact of Peabody's surface mining operations in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky was also the subject of criticism in John Prine's 1971 song "Paradise."[43][44] In Newsweek's 2011 rankings of the least eco-friendly companies in the US, Peabody Energy was ranked #9 out of the top 500 largest US companies based on their environmental impact.[45]

Peabody Energy states its mission as "to be a leading worldwide producer and supplier of sustainable energy solutions, which power economic prosperity and result in a better quality of life," and to return mined lands to a "condition that is equal to or better than before mining occurred.[46] Peabody launched its first land reclamation program, Operation Green Earth, in 1954.[47] Since then, Peabody's activities in regards to the pursuit of its mission, specifically concerning environmental sustainability practices, have been recognized by regulators and industry groups, but have raised concerns among its critics, primarily some environmental advocacy organizations. The company has taken steps to enact environmental restoration and has been recognized by the United States Department of the Interior, for their reclamation efforts.[48][49]

In response to federal legislation, such as the 1970 Clean Air Act and the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, and environmental criticism of its mining operations, Peabody has directed investments in technologies and equipment that serve to mitigate adverse environmental effects of their coal mining operations.[50] In 2007, the company became the only non-Chinese equity partner in the 650-megawatt near-zero emissions GreenGen clean-coal project in Tianjin, China.[51] Peabody has also invested in the development of carbon capture technologies and coal-to-gas and coal-to-hydrogen projects.[52][53]

American Legislative Exchange Council[edit]

Kelly Mader, representing Peabody Energy, sits on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[54]

Advanced Energy for Life[edit]

In 2014 Peabody Energy Corp. launched a pro-coal advertising and public relations campaign named Advanced Energy for Life,[55] with the stated aim of “educating and mobilising world leaders, multinational organisations, a wide range of institutions and stakeholders and the general public to end the crisis of global energy poverty”.[56] The campaign was created by Burson-Marsteller, the world's largest PR firm,[57] and its subsidiary, Proof Integrated Communications.[58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peabody Energy Board of Directors Names Glenn L. Kellow President and CEO-Elect; Also Named to Board of Directors". PR Newswire. PR Newswire. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Peabody Energy Announces Results For The Year Ended December 31, 2014". PR Newswire. PR Newswire. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Peabody Energy 2013 Annual Report". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 2014-3-25. 
  4. ^ "Peabody Energy Corporation | Company profile from Hoover's | 314-342-3400". 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  5. ^ "Peabody Energy 2013 Annual Report". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Operations". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "MSHA Mine Yearly Reported Production Information". Mine Safety and Health Administration - MSHA. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Tomich, Jeffrey (October 25, 2011). "Peabody Energy, partner take control of Macarthur Coal". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Peabody Energy Receives CEO of the Year and Energy Company of the Year Honors at Global Energy Awards". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fortune 500 2014". Fortune. Fortune. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "America's Most Admired Companies 2008: Peabody Energy snapshot". Fortune. 
  12. ^ "Green Rankings 2012: U.S. Companies". Newsweek. Newsweek. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Contact Peabody." Peabody Energy Corporation. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  14. ^ BTU: Definition and Much More from
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Peabody Energy Corporation". Funding Universe. Retrieved 4/6/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. ^ "History of PEABODY HOLDING COMPANY, INC.". Advameg. Retrieved 11/8/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  17. ^ a b c "Peabody Energy Corporation". International Directory of Company Histories 118. 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Celebrating 125 Years". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 4/7/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  19. ^ "Bethlehem Cuts Salaries; Armco Sells Coal Units". The Washington Post. 10/3/1983.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help);
  20. ^ "Hanson poised to win control at Peabody". The Independent. 1990-05-22.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help);
  21. ^ Main, Andrew (1993-04-26). "Hanson Pays $442m For Costain's Mines". Sydney Morning Herald.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help);
  22. ^ "Exxon division selling coal mines". The Dallas Morning News. 10/5/1994.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help);
  23. ^ Tasker, Belinda (12/2/2002). "Peabody Energy prepares to expand operations in Surat Basin". AAP Newsfeed.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help);
  24. ^ "North Goonyella Mine". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "AST Home". Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  26. ^ "Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 4/7/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  27. ^ "Peabody Energy of St. Louis and Boston-based ArcLight Capital Partners have entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop a commercial-scale coal gasification project.". All Business. Retrieved 4/6/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  28. ^ a b Alford, Roger; Malcolm Knox (2007-08-30). "Ky. Governor Signs Coal Tech Bill". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  29. ^ "US: Prairie State coal-fueled power plant advances". Energy Publisher. Retrieved 11/8/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  30. ^ Tomich, Jeffrey (1/5/2010). "Prairie State fuels debate Coal-fired power plant will bring jobs but symbolizes fight over climate change". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 11/8/2011.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  31. ^ McCarthy, Shawn. "What the world needs now: coal, sweet coal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  32. ^ "Peabody Energy Around the World" | Peabody Energy. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  33. ^ a b "2010 Annual Report". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  34. ^ "Peabody Energy Grows U.S. Exports, Opens German Office". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  35. ^ "Peabody Energy Corp (BTU.N)". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  36. ^ a b "10-K: Peabody Energy Corp". Market Watch. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  37. ^ "Chronology of Navajo-Hopi Relocation". The Associated Press. May 27, 1987. 
  38. ^ John Dougherty (1997-05-01). "A People Betrayed". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  39. ^ McCartney, Scott (May 27, 1987). "Coal Controversy Continues to Dog Navajo-Hopi Relocation". The Associated Press. 
  40. ^ "OSM Decision to Vacate". US Dept. of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  41. ^ "Peabody Energy: Anatomy of a Bad Corporation". Sierra Club Ozark Chapter. Retrieved 2012-1-23.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  42. ^ "Peabody's Energy Fantasy: America's Nightmare". Natural Resources Defense Council. Retrieved 2012-1-23.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  43. ^ "Coal protestors gather in St. Louis". Joplin Independent. November 19, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2010. 
  44. ^ Celine, Bonny (September 18, 1981). "2 lives connect musically". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  45. ^ "Green Rankings - The Daily Beast". 2011-10-16. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  46. ^ "CEO Message". Peabody Energy. Retrieved 1/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  47. ^ "Reclamation". National Mining Association. Retrieved 1/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  48. ^ "Wyoming and Montana coal mines win reclamation award". Associated Press. Retrieved 1/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  49. ^ "Reclamation Awards". Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement. Retrieved 1/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  50. ^ "Peabody Energy Corporation". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2012-1-13.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  51. ^ "Peabody joins China's GreenGen". UPI. Retrieved 1/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  52. ^ Garthwaite, Josie. "Peabody Energy Pours $15M Into Carbon Recycler Calera". Gigaom. Retrieved 2012-1-13.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  53. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie. "Peabody Buys Into Clean Coal Startup GreatPoint Energy". Gigaom. Retrieved 2012-1-13.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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  57. ^
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External links[edit]