Powder River Breaks May – June 2020

May – June 2020, Volume 48, Number 2 In June, Powder River kicked off a four-part webinar series, Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future, providing education, tools, and resources available for a planned transition to a new, diversified Wyoming economy. Each session features panelists with specific areas of expertise in transitioning resource dependent communities. In the […]

Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future webinar series continues July 7

On Tuesday, July 7 Powder River Basin Resource Council will continue its webinar series, Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future, providing education, tools, and resources available for a planned transition to a new, diversified Wyoming economy. Each session features different panelists with specific areas of expertise in transitioning resource-dependent communities. In this third webinar, Securitization: A Finance […]

Bankruptcies and Inadequate Bonds Threaten Taxpayers, Landowners with Orphan Oil and Gas Wells

In the midst of historically low oil prices and plummeting demand due to coronavirus restrictions, inadequate federal and state reclamation bonding requirements make it easier for deeply indebted oil and gas operators to declare bankruptcy and walk away from orphaned wells en masse. A recent report by the Western Organization of Resource Councils examining the […]

States face massive coal mine cleanup as closures loom, says new report

More than 234 square miles remain unreclaimed in the West after five decades of mining More than a third of all land mined for coal in the Western United States awaits cleanup after a half-century of intensive strip-mining, but a weakening coal industry may be incapable of cleaning it up says a report released today […]

Powder River & WORC Statement in Response to Cloud Peak’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan

Today in a Delaware bankruptcy court, a federal judge approved Cloud Peak Energy’s plan to get out of bankruptcy. A critical part of the plan is the sale of mines and other property to the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), a company wholly owned by the Navajo Nation. In response to the bankruptcy court decision, […]

Powder River Breaks September – October 2019

September – October 2019, Volume 47, Number 5 On Saturday, Nov. 2, Powder River will host its 47th Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn in Sheridan. This year’s theme, When Coal is No Longer King: A Conversation on Wyoming’s Future, will explore how the state’s economy must change as the coal industry shrinks. Denise Parrish, […]

Powder River Files Complaint Alleging Contura Mine Violations

August 28, 2019 This week Powder River Basin Resource Council (Resource Council) filed a citizen complaint with the federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE) and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding mine violations at the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal mines, which have been shut down since Blackjewel filed […]

Court Rules in Favor of Powder River Basin Resource Council; Requires DEQ Release of Appraisal

August 22, 2019             In a precedent-setting Public Records Act case, a Wyoming District Court judge has ruled in favor of Powder River Basin Resource Council (Resource Council), ordering the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to release land appraisal documents directly related to Contura Coal West’s bond renewal for the Belle Ayr coal mine […]

Powder River Breaks July – August 2019

July – August 2019, Volume 47, Number 4 Early in the morning on July 1, Blackjewel, LLC and associated companies operating 32 coal mines in Wyoming, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky filed for bankruptcy. Later that day, emergency funding fell through as banks that had previously financed the operations of Blackjewel owner Jeff Hoops no […]

Powder River Breaks May – June 2019

Powder River Breaks May – June 2019 Volume 47, Number 3 Last month, after a two-day hearing over Powder River’s objections to Contura Coal West’s proposal to transfer their permits for the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal strip mines to Blackjewel LLC, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council (EQC) postponed making a decision. The EQC […]