Wyoming Governor Says State Will ‘Double Down’ on Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats for SNL:After two of the country’s largest coal producers announced hundreds of layoffs at Wyoming mines, the state’s political leadership responded with pledges of support and long-term services but few immediate solutions for the battered local industry.Late last week, Arch Coal Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp. announced cuts in staff at some of the country’s largest mines, citing an array of market and regulatory challenges that have weighed down the state’s struggling coal industry. A representative for the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, near where the mines are located, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that further staff reductions had occurred in the area in recent months.Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Matt Mead responded to the layoffs and broader downturn hours after the reductions had been announced, calling a press conference to announce a “rapid response team” of state officials intended to help those communities impacted by the job losses.Mead went on to outline the host of challenges facing the state’s coal industry, noting that warmer-than-expected winter temperatures had dashed any hope of a recovery in demand this year. Further, coal export projects intended to allow Powder River Basin coal to reach the Asian market had met with further delays and resistance from coastal states.A few days after Mead’s press conference, the likelihood of new coal export projects continued to erode with news that the developers behind the Gateway Pacific project in Washington had paused its environmental review of the project.Despite those obstacles, Mead repeated plans to “double down” on his efforts to ensure that Wyoming coal has a future, including a pledge to continue his fight against Obama administration environmental regulations and support access to export markets. In 2015, Mead signed new bond legislation that would provide a billion dollars for infrastructure outside of the state. While the state law allows financial backing for any infrastructure projects outside of Wyoming, coal export terminals including the Gateway Pacific project have received the most attention since the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority received authority over such projects in 2014.Wyo. governor promises support for coal layoffs, warns of long-term challenges Wyoming Governor Says State Will ‘Double Down’ on Coallast_img