Powder River Breaks Newsletter March – April 2021

March – April 2021, Volume 49, Number 2 Wyoming’s dependence on coal means that the entire economy is in transition as markets shift to cheaper and cleaner sources of energy. Finding grassroots solutions to this reality has been Powder River Basin Resource Council’s work for some time. Last spring, we launched our Reclaiming and Growing […]

Conservation Groups Move to Defend Federal Leasing Pause

This week Powder River Basin Resource Council joined a broad coalition of conservation and tribal groups filing motions to intervene to defend the Department of Interior’s pause on federal oil and gas leasing pending the agency’s comprehensive review of the program. With this action, the groups seek to defend the leasing pause against two lawsuits […]

ESM & Interior Reach Troubling Deal on Unpaid Royalties in Blackjewel Bankruptcy

On Friday, Feb. 19, the Department of Interior, Eagle Specialty Materials (ESM), and the attorneys in Blackjewel’s bankruptcy case released a settlement agreement for unpaid royalties on federal coal leases mined by Blackjewel, and its predecessor, Contura, at the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. According to the legal filing, […]

Westerners support reforming broken leasing system for federal coal, oil and gas

President Biden today signed several executive orders, including a pause on further leasing of oil and gas by the federal government, and a review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands. Federal mineral leasing programs have been repeatedly criticized by government watchdogs for wasting public resources. Additionally, […]

Powder River’s 2020 Annual Report

This is Powder River Basin Resource Council’s 2020 Annual Report. To read the full report, please download the PDF.

Conservation groups: Federal Powder River Basin coal plan violates court order

BLM Plans Govern Coal Mining of 50,000 Acres, 6 Billion Tons of Coal Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge a massive Powder River Basin coal mining plan that the groups say ignores alternatives to coal, oil and gas leasing and fails to publicly acknowledge the harms from coal combustion, violating federal law […]

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 […]

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 […]

Conservation Groups Seek to Join Wyoming Suit Over Coal, Oil, Gas Revenue

July 26, 2019 The groups’ motion to intervene can be found online here . Groups aim to ensure companies pay a fair return for taxpayer-owned minerals Five conservation groups moved today to intervene in a lawsuit to preserve the 2016 Valuation Rule, a set of federal requirements requiring fossil fuel companies to pay full royalties […]

Filings for 2016 Valuation Rule Lawsuit

July 25, 2019 Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Plains Resource Council, Powder River Basin Resource Council, The Wilderness Society, and  Western Organization of Resource Councils (collectively, Conservation Groups), by and through their counsel, respectfully move to intervene as Respondents in the above-captioned matter. The Conservation Groups move to intervene as of right, or alternatively, to […]