Powder River Basin coal facing point of no return
October 29, 2020
GILLETTE— A decade ago, the Powder River Basin was hitting its economic peak. Fracking was exploding to pump new life into Wyoming’s oil and natural gas industries, and coal was proving why it was the real black gold of the Cowboy State.
The Powder River Basin produced nearly 420 million tons of coal in 2009 and accounted for 50% of the electricity generation in the United States. The four large, publicly traded coal companies that dominated PRB production were so flush with cash they were taking on billions in debt to fuel extensive expansion and growth.
Looking into a crystal ball the...