Peabody begins layoffs at two Gillette mines

(Gillette, Wyo.) More turmoil in the industry has manifested in job loss. We received word today that Peabody Energy has begun letting employees go at its operations in Northeast Wyoming. We contacted the company, and in a emailed statement, Vice President of Communications Beth Sutton said: "In response to market conditions and customer needs, Peabody has implemented a small number of job reductions at its Caballo and Rawhide mines. We regret the effect of these actions on employees and their families, and the company is taking steps to ease the transition through severance and outplacement support for those impacted." County 17 spoke with Caballo mine employee Jer Hanson, who was one of the 15 workers let go. "They laid off some good people today. Obama has left his mark on the energy industry and I hope he feels accomplished." Yesterday Sheridan Dally spoke with Cloud Peak Energy about rumored layoffs up north at Spring Creek Mine. "Cloud Peak Energy is working to manage the reduced production to minimize any impacts on our employees through attrition, and opportunities at our other operations in the Powder River Basin," Rick Curtsinger, Director of Public Affairs said in an email. Surface mining already takes less employees to dig more coal than other methods. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average Wyoming miner can produce 29 tons of coal per hour, where a West Virginia miner can only dig 2.4 tons. Taking that in to consideration, "a small amount" of employees can still have a big impact on the community. #county17 #news