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.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?