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Wyoming coal: 'Things may get worse before they get better'

Wyoming coal: 'Things may get worse before they get better'

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) In a teleconference call with media this afternoon, Governor Matt Mead started out the conversation by echoing the coal industry's official statements that the warm weather and abundant natural gas resources have contributed to the decline of the coal mining business in Northeast Wyoming. "Coal's been facing an uphill challenge for some period of time," he stated. "This is an immediate and very personal problem. Today is troubling not just for the miners, but for all of us here in Wyoming." With the notices today, miners filing for unemployment now number well over a thousand. Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and other state agencies will have their hours extended through the weekend to aid those looking for help. The Wyoming Business Council will be focusing on both short-term and long-term planning for the coal industry. When asked what he had to say to the people of Campbell County, he was grateful for the work that the Gillette community has done for the state of Wyoming, "We're proud of what Gillette miners have provided. They've fueled the country for a long period of time. We understand that [my energy plan] isn't going to alleviate the immediate situation for you and your families. We're sympathetic to that, and we're doing all we can." He went on to talk about how the Federal Department of Energy needs to back research in to coal. He thinks the government hasn't yet seen what coal can do in comparison to renewable energy sources that might not be readily available yet. "We didn't move to the candle from the light bulb because of regulation, we got there because of innovation." He mentioned the Integrated Test Center, being built at Basin Electric's Dry Fork Station here in Gillette, as a way to bolster coal technology. "You can regulate all you want here in the United States, but by trying to shut it down here, you're relinquishing your duty and opportunity to lead the way in technology." #county17 #news #dally #reboot #oilcity #shortgo #buckrail #county10 #springcity #bootstrapped