Climate + Energy

ICYMI: Coal Industry Continues its Decline in Largest Coal Mining Region in U.S.

DSCN9354In case you missed the recent news, in spite of the Trump Administration’s attempts to bail out coal companies, the industry continues a steady decline in the Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana.

In the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, companies are asking the Administration to delay approving several new federal coal lease applications.

This is in spite of the fact that in 2017, the U.S. Department of the Interior lifted a moratorium on a new coal leasing claiming it was necessary to give a boost to the domestic coal industry.

Most recently, Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal company, relinquished thousands of acres of federal coal leases in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, deeming them “uneconomical.” 

This also comes on the heels of Peabody withdrawing an application for a new federal coal lease earlier this year that would have expanded the company’s Rawhide coal mine north of Gillette, Wyoming.

And of course, this also comes on the heels of numerous withdrawals and relinquishments of federal coal leases in 2017.

The Powder River Basin is the largest coal producing region in the United States and fuels over a hundred power plants from coast to coast.

And overall, coal production continues to dip in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Wyoming.

Worse, reports indicate that 10% of all coal produced in the U.S. in the first half of 2018 was sent to power plants slated for shutdown.

The bottomline is the coal industry is continuing its tailspin, especially in the American West.