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Madigan demands Peabody prove it has coal mine-closure money

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has demanded that a financially shaky Peabody Energy prove it has the $92 million necessary to restore Illinois mining land if it shuts down.

Madigan sent a letter Monday to the St. Louis-based coal company seeking details on the bond amount available for its southern Illinois coal mines.

Peabody told federal regulators last week its financial situation might force it to cease operations. It also delayed an interest payment.

Madigan says she fears the company’s bond funds would not be sufficient to follow state law requiring used-up mining land to be restored as timberland, wildlife habitat or rangeland.

Peabody spokeswoman Kelley Wright says the company considers mine reclamation an “essential part” of its business, but did not say how it would respond to Madigan.

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