Arch Coal Pulls Coal Lease Application Citing Weak Market

Mar 10, 2015

Wyoming produces nearly 40% of the nation's coal. Much of it comes from the Powder River Basin.

One of the world’s largest coal companies has withdrawn its application for a federal coal lease in the Powder River Basin. Arch Coal’s move is part of a bigger slow down in sales of Wyoming coal leases. According to the Bureau of Land Management, there are currently six leases pending. But the last one that was actually sold was in 2012. 

That means revenue from coal leasing is way down and that money is the main funding source for building K-12 schools. Alex Kean is the co-chair of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which projects state revenues. He says looking ahead, that could be a problem.

"As you look forward to fiscal year 2018, and you see a zero there for available revenue for that purpose, it causes some concern," Kean said. 

Coal consumption in the US is down and expected to continue declining.