Nation’s fourth- and sixth-largest mines shut down

Scott Tong Jul 2, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Coal falls from a conveyor belt in 2016 in Price, Utah. George Frey/Getty Images

Nation’s fourth- and sixth-largest mines shut down

Scott Tong Jul 2, 2019
Coal falls from a conveyor belt in 2016 in Price, Utah. George Frey/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Powder River Basin in the Western United States provides cheap, abundant coal. But even there, two major coal mines have shuttered due to economic challenges facing America’s coal sector.

Blackjewel, the owner of the two mines in the basin, declared bankruptcy Monday, planning to reorganize and stay afloat. Then bank financing fell through and the mines abruptly shuttered.

“Yesterday was kind of like a heart attack in the Powder River Basin,” said Robert Godby, energy economist at the University of Wyoming. “It was a kind of out-of-the-blue outcome. People woke up that morning thinking they had a job. And by the end of the day they didn’t.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.