powder river basin

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.

US Delays Oil, Gas Sales In Montana After Climate Ruling

Apr 25, 2018
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials delayed lease sales on federal oil and gas reserves beneath more than 160 square miles (414 square kilometers) of public and private lands in eastern Montana in response to a recent court ruling on climate change, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said Wednesday.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

A federal judge’s ruling last week that requires the government to further consider climate change when planning coal development is getting mixed reactions from coal industry advocates and environmental groups.

Montana Activists Rally Against Coal Trains
Flickr user Erin Kinney (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

Activists against more coal trains in Montana are rallying across the state this week.

Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council hosted an event in Helena Tuesday to share their point of view opposing a new West Coast port that would export coal from the Powder River Basin. It came one day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for a different proposed port that would ship Montana coal to Asia.

Powder River Coal Will Be Tapped Out In Decades, USGS Says

Feb 23, 2016
A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Vast coal seams dozens of feet thick that lie beneath the rolling hills of the Northern Plains once appeared almost limitless, fueling boasts that domestic reserves were sufficient to power the U.S. for centuries. But an exhaustive government analysis says that at current prices and mining rates the country's largest coal reserves, located along the Montana-Wyoming border, will be tapped out in just a few decades.