There is Still a Need for Powder River Basin Coal

Opponents of coal may benefit from knowing that not all coal is created equal.

A recent article in the Casper Star Tribune reported that Cloud Peak energy announced plans to export one million tons of coal to Asian markets in the coming months. But this coal isn’t like others: this is Powder River Basin (PRB) coal.

PRB coal is sub-bituminous meaning it contains lower levels of SO2 than Appalachian coal, and certainly less than Chinese coal. It is found in abundance in Wyoming and Montana, where Cloud Peak is based, and most importantly, it is a cleaner alternative to what Asian consumers currently have at their disposal.

With limited west coast options for exporting the products, but a growing overseas demand, Cloud Peak will look to their existing terminals in British Columbia to send the coal abroad. It’s the same coal burned by the same plants producing the same net emissions that regulators have so stringently charged Millennium with mitigating. The only difference is who will collect the export spoils and tax dollars. And this time, it will not be Washington.

Fortunately, it is not too late for Washington to capitalize on rising demand for coal across the Pacific. Recent public hearings on the draft federal Environmental Impact Statement for Millennium’s proposal saw a strong turnout of supporters who have made known that they want this project. After four long years, it is time to capitalize on this demand and bring the ensuing tax dollars and wages to families in Washington who need them.

Although the hearings have passed, we still must show regulators our resolve on this project. The public comment period runs through November 29th, and every voice counts. Submit your comments here today.

Submit your comments HERE.