Governor: Wyoming Approaches Coal Mining Milestone 

Wyoming's North Antelope Rochelle Mine in the Powder River Basin. Courtesy of the Wyoming Mining Association.


State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437

April 30, 2013


Renny MacKay
Communications Director

Governor: Wyoming Approaches Coal Mining Milestone


CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  Governor Matt Mead announced today that Wyoming will mine its ten billionth ton of coal in May. “This is a significant achievement for our state and country. Coal mining has provided thousands of jobs in Wyoming over the last 150 years, all the while fueling America’s economy,” Governor Mead said. “Coal has helped make America great because it is an affordable and reliable source of energy. It keeps the lights on in our homes and powers America’s industries.”

Since 1987, Wyoming has been the nation’s largest producer of coal. “Coal is the largest source of electricity in America and Wyoming proudly produces 40% of the nation’s coal. The importance of this industry to the country cannot be overstated,” Governor Mead said. “Here in Wyoming, coal has paid for the construction of our new schools, greatly benefiting our education system and local communities.”

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) researches the state’s coal production and geology as part of its mission. The WSGS’s coal geologist reviewed historical records dating back to 1865 when Wyoming was still a territory. He also looked at current production data from the Wyoming State Mine Inspector and calculated a total of 9,855,067,896 short tons of coal have been mined in the state through January 1, 2013.

Using historical data, the state has been able to determine its energy contribution to the nation from coal. That contribution is huge. Wyoming through its coal resources has provided nearly 176 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) in energy to the country. “This is enough energy to power the entire nation’s electricity grids for more than eight years,” said Chris Carroll, state coal geologist with the WSGS. “Our estimates for recoverable reserves show we can continue to produce this valuable resource long into the future, as well as expand into other potential international and economically viable markets.”

Wyoming’s North Antelope Rochelle and Black Thunder Coal Mines accounted for 20% of the U.S. coal production by tons in 2012. In 2012 Wyoming mines produced 401 million tons, with a total value of $4 billion.

“The mining industry is proud to have provided coal to Wyoming and the rest of the nation so that millions of people can have energy for manufacturing, clean water, refrigeration and heat,” said Marion Loomis, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association. “The industry looks forward to supplying power from Wyoming coal – affordably, reliably - for the next 100 years.”

Wyoming is rich not only in coal resources, but also in the high quality of those resources. “Wyoming’s coal is the lowest sulfur and ash sub-bituminous coal in the country, which means it does not require washing or preparation prior to shipping to power plants,” Chris Carroll said. The quality of Wyoming coal is among the reasons it represents a major export for the state.

The WSGS has launched a new website on Wyoming’s Coal Resources as a clearing house of information for the public to access, including current production numbers, maps with layers of information and links to all the state’s mines and coal fields (via Google Earth), as well as educational pages, photos and historical records.





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 Office of Governor Matt Mead
Phone: (307) 777-7434
Fax: (307) 632-3909

State Capitol, 200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne WY 82002-0010

Public Schedule

  • Friday, December 19, 2014
    Governor speaks at the Vertical Harvest Ground Breaking
  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    Governor speaks at the 7th Annual Menorah Display Lighting Ceremony and Chanukah Party
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    Governor participates in the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearings
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    Governor presents his Supplemental Budget to the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee
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    Governor and First Lady attend the Sunrise Rotary Foster Kids Christmas Dinner
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    Governor and First Lady attend retirement celebration for Secretary of State Max Maxfield
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    Governor meets Mrs. Wyoming 2014, Priscilla Pruitt
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    Governor chairs the State Loan and Investment Board and State Board of Land Commissioners meetings
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    Governor welcomes new Legislators
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    Governor Serves Lunch at the Comea Shelter