Big Coal Scores on Wyoming’s Public Lands

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Coal

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Peabody Energy coal mining operation

Peabody Energy coal mining operation

“Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel,
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
.
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken,

Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.”
—John Prine

Paging Tim DeChristopher.

Tuesday the Department of the Interior announced that they’d be making coal-rich tracts of lands available to the mining industry in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, leasing bids worth somewhere between $13.4 billion and $21.3 billion and producing 758 million tons of coal.

Citing political unrest in the Middle East, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said “we ought not be subjected to the ups and downs of what happens in the Middle East or in Libya, so part of it is moving us towards an energy independent America.”

Why do I get the feeling that some sleazy corporate lobbyists are seizing some opportunities?

Salazar also said that nuclear energy is still part of America’s energy future. But, Japan’s nuclear meltdown seems to be a bit of a boom for the coal industry. Stocks are up and the future looks bright for dirty coal after years of progress made by environmentalists.

Wyoming is the reddest of the red states, but if anything, it’s time for more red state organizing. We’re in a long struggle to keep coal in the ground and fight for communities most impacted by extraction.

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Ryan says:

    Hey, remember when Salazar spoke at Power Shift in 2009 and promised a massive new Civilian Conservation Corps? I guess what he really meant was massive new coal and oil expansion. I wonder what folks will be thinking about Al Gore’s talk this year two years later?

  2. will duggan says:

    powder river to prince rupert to china. this isn’t for domestic use at all.

  3. marc says:

    hey remember when you turned that light on in your house and it actually came on. you can thank coal for that. coal mines take what they need from the land then put it all back and in better condition.GLOBAL WARMING IS A MYTH al gores making more off that scam than any coal company.

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