coal

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality


Anton Bocek lives on his 80-acre ranch where he deals in hay and cattle near Sheridan. His family has lived there for 42 years. It's the closest property to Ramaco's newly-approved Brook Mine.

NASA

The two largest American coal producers have pushed back against the Federal Trade Commission's claim that a proposed merger would cause "anticompetitive harm" to the Powder River Basin. This latest filing comes after months of review in a Missouri federal court.

Part of Brook Mine Location
Cooper McKim

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has approved a long-discussed — and revised —coal mine permit application.

Nanocomposite plastics used in flexible displays, specialty plastics and 3D printing polymers
National Energy Technology Laboratory

The Department of Energy has announced it plans to provide $122 million in funding for the manufacturing of coal-based products. The announcement called for the establishment of "coal products innovation centers" in major basins across the country, including Appalachia and the Powder River Basin.

Eagle Butte mine post-bankrutpcy
Cooper McKim

Employees at the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines came to work as usual on a Monday, July 1, 2019-a year ago today. Soon after arriving, miners were shepherded into a room and told the company would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

All photos credit to Brittany Patterson, Ohio Valley ReSource

On a recent sunny weekday, Bill Currey proudly walks among 30 neatly stacked, brightly colored plastic kayaks. Birds chirp merrily, and the soothing sounds of the meandering Coal River permeate the background - nature's version of a white noise machine.

Alan Nash

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers are now demanding emergency guidelines related to COVID-19 for the country's mines whether it's for coal, trona, gold or silver. They say voluntary guidance is not a substitute for mandatory and legally enforceable COVID-19 protocols.

Ramaco

Ramaco Carbon has long sought to develop a complex in Wyoming involving the manufacturing, development, and mining of coal. Permit and transparency issues though have caused the company to face pushback and delays.

NTEC's Antelope Mine - operated by Cloud Peak Energy at the time of the photo
Cloud Peak Energy

The Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) has laid off eight salaried employees and furloughed 93 hourly employees at its Antelope Mine. The move comes about a month after the company laid off 130 employees between its Spring Creek, in southern Montana, and Antelope mines.

The new homepage for Arch Resources
Arch Resources

On May 15, Arch Coal officially changed its name to Arch Resources, Inc, in conjunction with the launch of its new website. The two moves are part of a larger shift in Arch's focus away from thermal coal.

From Brook Mine Revised Permit Application: Extent of declared alluvial valley floors (AVFs) at and adjacent to the proposed Brook Mine in the upper Tongue River Basin, Wyoming.
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held an informal conference Wednesday to hear comments and objections to a revised permit application from Brook Mining Co., LLC, a subsidiary of Ramaco Carbon. The company hopes to mine thermal coal and then research, develop and manufacture products using it as the feedstock.

In the past decade, the Decker Coal Mine sent its coal to several locations around the country. Since 2015, though, it's primary customer has been a Minnesota coal-fired power plant
U.S. Energy Information Administration

The past few months, COVID-19 has taken its toll on employment in the Powder River Basin. Weak market conditions have struck again with a new round of furloughs at the Decker Coal Mine just north of the Wyoming border in Montana.

BNSF Subdivision Map in Wyoming
BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway announced this week it will close two facilities in Wyoming and lay off the related employees within the next two months. The Guernsey shop is set to close on July 7, 2020 laying off 92 people; the Donkey Creek facility in Rozet is set to close on June 5, 2020 laying off 38 people.

Every state is wrestling with the tension between reopening economies and protecting communities from COVID-19. Some industries have remained open all along. There are the obvious ones, like grocery stores and hospitals. Then there are others, like mining.

Public Domain

Recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis interpreted by The Wall Street Journal show the downturn in the energy sector is affecting Mountain West states very differently.

An announcement posted at one of Arch's PRB mines submitted to Wyoming Public Radio
Anonymous

As other Powder River Basin (PRB) coal companies lay off miners by the hundred, Arch Coal, operator of the Coal Creek and Black Thunder mines, is asking its Wyoming employees to volunteer for unpaid leave without benefits.

NTEC's Antelope Mine - operated by Cloud Peak Energy at the time of the photo
Cloud Peak Energy

Two coal companies with mines in the Powder River Basin (PRB) announced lay-offs today in Peabody Energy and the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC).

Since the coronavirus hit the U.S., coal mines across the country have begun shutting down, laying off workers and slowing production.

Diesel fuel cars at a trainyard in Morrill.
Alan Nash


A long-time coal miner in the Powder River Basin said he worries his employer is not taking the risks of COVID-19 seriously despite instituting safety guidelines. Joe Phillips, not his real name, does not feel safe at work. He requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation.

Coal seam at Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Peabody Energy

On March 30, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi led 10 other U.S. Senate signatories in a request for the U.S. Department of the Interior to administer help to the coal, oil and gas industries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Liz Cheney signed a similar letter coming from the House of Representatives today alongside 29 other Congressmen.

Timeline for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition; the final deadline was moved from June 30, 2020 to August 17, 2020
NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

The $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE has moved back its final deadline by seven weeks. The competition aims to demonstrate viable new uses for carbon dioxide; one half of the competition is hosted by the Integrated Test Center at the Dry Fork Station in Gillette. The other half is located in Alberta which has not yet seen any deadline changes.

The three eastern coal companies are making changes and some mine closures amidst COVID-19
Rosebud Mining Company, Corsa Energy, Consol energy

Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), added the coal industry to its list of critical infrastructure - a list of what's considered vital to public health, the economy, and national security.

Social distancing at a WY Public Service Commission meeting
Public Service Commission

Wyoming agencies are making internal changes aimed at slowing the spread COVID-19 while keeping the public in the loop. Several are looking to hold public meetings via telephone or online including the Wyoming Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Quality.

2017 990 Form
Energy and Policy Institute

3/27: The story has been updated to include Randy Eminger's voice - the executive director of the Energy Policy Network

An investigation published in the Colorado Sun called attention to a connection between the state of Wyoming and an organization that fought against the early closure of two coal-fired generating units in Colorado without disclosing its backing.

KIEWIT

The Buckskin Mining Company laid off 60 employees across all departments ahead of schedule this week. Kiewit Corporation, the Omaha, Nebraska-based owner of the coal mine, announced March 12 to expect around 50 lay-offs due to a production decline in 2020. A public release anticipated that lay-off date to come in early April. 

Coal seam at Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Peabody Energy

This is a developing story.

Coal companies with mines in Wyoming are making adjustments as COVID-19 increases its spread worldwide. Wyoming has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far with patients in Sheridan and Fremont Counties.

Peabody Energy

Peabody's three Wyoming mines are all still in operation. Charlene Murdock, director of corporate communications for Peabody Energy, said they are following the advice from government authorities to manage the spread of COVID-19.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature wrapped up its work this week with concerns about the future. A downturn in oil prices and worries about a drop in investment income has lawmakers thinking that they may need to make some difficult decisions in the not-too-distant future.

www.nrel.gov

There were only six bills centered on renewables this session, but you'd be forgiven to think there were many more. Even when it wasn't the topic of conversation, renewables were on lawmaker's minds.

A few of the changes in an amendment adopted by the Senate
Legislative Service Office

An amended bill to move ad valorem tax payments from an 18-month to a monthly schedule has passed its first hurdle on the Senate floor.

Ad valorem taxes are a property tax paid to counties from mineral companies. Wyoming is currently missing out on about $130 million in delinquent ad valorem taxes, according to the Wyoming County Commissioners Association. 

NARM Map
Peabody Energy

Peabody Energy laid off 50 temporary employees who worked at the North Antelope Rochelle mine (NARM) in southern Campbell County on Thursday, the company confirmed.

"We routinely match staffing levels with production needs and the reduction in temporary workers is consistent with that approach," wrote Charlene Murdock, Peabody director of corporate communications.

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