Wyoming mines still have many years of coal, but a review of the federal coal leasing program only adds to the industry’s uncertain future.
In its current rate increase request in Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Power is under scrutiny for having spent hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution controls for its fleet of coal-fired power plants — three of which are in Wyoming. The utility estimates it will spend an additional $1.3 billion over the next 10 years adding pollution controls to its multi-state coal-fleet. “The cost is approaching the cost of brand new power plants,” said Bob Pomeroy, a Holland & Hart attorney representing Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers. “At some point, you have to ask the question; Do these investments make sense compared to alternatives?”