Wyoming’s coal industry has for decades enjoyed a sustained boom period that led the state to depend on it for high-paying jobs and revenue.

But a combination of factors that include new technologies, demand for cleaner energy and cheap natural gas has brought about a steep decline to the industry’s fortunes as its traditional customers move to new fuel sources.

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Hydraulic fracturing has been used since as early as 1949. When directional drilling was used in combination with it that was the game changer.

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