Powder River Breaks September – October 2018

September – October 2018, Volume 46, Number 5 Award-winning conservation photographer and author Michael Forsberg will highlight Powder River’s 46th Annual Meeting, Our Water, Our Land, Our Legacy, on Saturday, Nov. 3rd at the Sheridan Holiday Inn. Forsberg will present his work on Great Plains conservation. Additionally a selection of his photographs will be on […]

Reclaim Wyoming: Prioritize Coal Mine Reclamation

Wyoming’s coal mining legacy dates back to the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1897.1 The state is home to some of the largest coal mines on earth, including the top eight active U.S. mines. Combined, Wyoming mines account for 41% of coal production in the U.S., about the same as the next seven […]

Government Watchdog Highlights Increasing Taxpayer Cost to Cleanup Orphaned Wells

June 5, 2018 Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report that finds the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not accurately accounting for orphaned onshore oil and gas wells, or the risk that taxpayers will have to shoulder the cleanup risks. The report, Bureau of Land Management Needs to Improve Its Data […]

Powder River Basin Resource Council Petitions Wyoming DEQ to End Self-Bonding and Protect Taxpayers and Adjacent Landowners

May 1, 2018 This week the Powder River Basin Resource Council (Resource Council) filed a formal rulemaking petition with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Land Quality Division to end the practice of self-bonding for coal mines. In order to better shield Wyoming taxpayers from having to fund mine clean-up in the event of a […]

GAO Report on Coal Mine Self-Bonding March 2018

Coal accounts for 17 percent of domestic energy production. SMCRA requires coal mine operators to reclaim lands that were disturbed during mining and to submit a financial assurance in an amount sufficient to ensure that adequate funds will be available to complete reclamation if the operator does not do so. Recent coal company bankruptcies have […]

Petition to Amend Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Rules on Self-Bonding

The Resource Council, along with its over 1,000 members throughout the state, advocates for the conservation of Wyoming’s unique land, mineral, water, and clean air resources consistent with responsible use of those resources to sustain the livelihood of present and future generations. Since its founding in 1973, the Resource Council has worked on coal mining […]

WORC Report Finds Coal Self-Bonding Unnecessary and Risky

April 5, 2018 The practice of self-bonding at coal mines could be ended today without a significant impact to the coal mining industry. That’s the conclusion of a new report, Now is the Time to End Self-Bonding, which points out that self-bonds in the West have hit a historic low, and that conventional alternatives to […]

Now Is the Time to End Self-Bonding

In the eight months between August 2015 and April 2016, the three largest coal companies in the United States all filed for bankruptcy: Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources. Between them, they had pledged $2.3 billion of self-bonds in support of mine cleanup, known as “reclamation.” Coal companies are required by law to […]