Port and rail expansion initiatives aimed at wide-scale export of Powder River Basin coal to Asia remain alive despite entrenched opposition and the precipitous decline of the coal industry.
Mining companies hope to turn Powder River Basin coal into an international resource, eyeing lucrative markets in growing Asian economies.
Wyoming coal producers fared well during a tumultuous year for the industry nationwide, increasing output by an estimated 2.6 percent in 2010. It’s a modest recovery in production, after slipping 7.8 percent in 2009. Wyoming’s year-to-date coal production as of December 25 was 434 million tons, and the industry was on track to finish the year at 442.5 million tons, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.