The coronavirus pandemic could accelerate coal’s decline in Wyoming

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WY has produced more coal than any other state in the country since 1986,… But it’s no secret that the coal industry was already sinking, showing symptoms of structural decline. Utilities have shied away from coal in favor of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources. TheEnergyInformationAdministration, the country’s leading energy data agency, predicts more losses will arrive on coal companies’ doorsteps in the coming months. It forecasts the country will produce 22% less coal in 2020 compared to last year.

Losses like this in the coal sector have an unusually large ripple effect in WY. For half a century, the Powder River Basin — a 20,000-square mile region in northeast WY—served as the state’s leading economic engine. Lucrative taxes and fees reaped from coal have filled WY’s coffers to the tune of billions of dollars, funding everything from schools to roads. But coal’s golden years have been imperiled, and the pandemic is likely making matters worse.

CasperStarTribune

Article submitted by, A Non Ymous.