A court hearing is set for Friday on a suit to toss out a proposed St. Louis charter amendment, now slated for the April ballot, that would bar tax breaks for Peabody Energy or any other firm involved in “unsustainable energy production.”
The suit was filed last week by three city residents and a law firm, who all claim to be taxpayers who would be affected by passage of the ballot measure on April 8.
The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. before Judge Robert Dierker.
Barring a last-minute legal challenge, St. Louis voters will be asked on April 8 to decide the fate of a proposed amendment to the city charter to bar tax breaks for Peabody Energy or any other firm involved in “unsustainable energy production.”
“We know for a fact that it’s going to be on the ballot in April,’’ said Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic elections director for the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. The only roadblock would be if a lawsuit successfully knocks the proposal off the ballot, she said.
More than a thousand United Mine Workers of America members were back in St. Louis on Monday, the latest in a series of protests against Peabody Energy and its handling of their retirement and health care benefits.
Protesters rally in front of the Peabody Energy headquarters in downtown St. Louis on April 29, 2013. They gathered to draw attention to a Patriot Coal case regarding the health care benefits of 10,000 retired miners. Peabody spun off Patriot in 2007.
Hundreds of retired and current union miners from across the country descended on St. Louis on Tuesday to protest Peabody Energy and the potential loss of their pension plans.
Most of the miners worked for either Peabody Energy or Arch Coal, but their benefits are threatened by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal last year. Patriot was spun off from Peabody in 2007, along with the healthcare obligations of many Peabody and Arch Coal employees.
One of the nation's biggest coal producers says federal security regulators are investigating the company's role in development of a southwestern Illinois power plant.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. says in its annual report that the Securities and Exchange Commission served the company with a subpoena last month requesting information and documents related to the Prairie State project.