coal

USDA NRCS

A major U.S. coal producer filed for bankruptcy Tuesday morning.

Westmoreland Coal Company operates five mines in Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico. They employ more than a thousand people.

The Trump administration announced a new rule on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, called the ‘Affordable Clean Energy Rule.’ It would put regulatory power in states’ hands.

The Obama administration had previously tried to enact something called the Clean Power Plan, which was considered the country’s primary strategy for lowering emissions to meet its 2030 target under the Paris climate agreement.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks with the press.
U.S. Department of the Interior

A federal watchdog group said the U.S. Interior Department didn’t give an adequate reason for cancelling a study on the health impacts of coal mining last year.

Jackie Yamanaka

The future of Colstrip was one of the topics at the Montana Energy Summit convened yesterday by U.S. Senator Steve Daines.

Jackie Yamanaka

The continuation of fossil fuel energy development was in the spotlight at a day-long Montana Energy Summit in Billings organized by Montana Senator Steve Daines.  

Three of Montana's coal mines could shutter by 2029.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission / U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Several big coal mines in Montana and Wyoming are projected to close within the next two decades. The mines' owner, Westmoreland Coal Company, is on the brink of bankruptcy.

A coal train in the Powder River Basin
Jerry Huddleston / Flickr

A U.S. district court judge has struck down the City of Oakland’s ban on transporting coal through a planned export terminal there.

Jackie Yamanaka

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson says the coal industry isn’t dead. He says it’s in transition and there needs to be a plan. Part of that plan may be forming a coalition with renewable energy producers.

Richardson envisions something akin to a Marshall Plan. It was a U.S. program that helped Europe rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

Jackie Yamanaka

A Westmoreland Coal Company says its 3 Montana coal mines are profitable despite its current financial crunch and the company is working to keep its mines open.

Coal
Kym Farnik / Flickr

Over the past decade, the market for Mountain West coal has cooled. Renewables and natural gas in the U.S. are cheaper, stocks are tumbling and some coal companies are even teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

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