Troubled times continue to grow in the Powder River Basin. This summer two large coal companies declared bankruptcy, impacting four large coal mines in Wyoming. While Cloud Peak and Blackjewel’s respective bankruptcies played out very differently, they do point out that Wyoming’s coal industry is in trouble.
The U.S. coal industry, including Wyoming, has been in trouble for years. We felt this pain three years ago when Arch, Alpha and Peabody all filed for bankruptcy, and we’re feeling it again this year. The coal market has been declining since 2008, and we must start thinking about what’s next for our state.