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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Mining

Biden proposes rule abolishing Wyoming coal leases by 2041; governor outraged

“Blackouts and energy poverty for Wyoming’s citizens and beyond” will be the administration’s legacy, Governor Mark Gordon says

Biden administration proposes rule abolishing Wyoming coal by 2041, governor outraged
Shot of coal pits, in Wyoming's section of the Powder River Basin, taken from space in 2015. Photo credit: NASA

Coal mining in Wyoming, a state that produces 40 per cent of the nation’s supply, is slowly being phased out to meet decarbonization targets.

The Biden administration and Bureau of Land Management proposed a new rule this week that would put an end to coal leasing in Wyoming’s section of the Powder River Basin by 2041. Coal production in the state has been waning in recent years and the feds are now pushing to bring it to a complete halt.

The American Energy Information Administration has estimated that the amount of electricity produced from coal in Wyoming will drop by over 50 per cent within the next 25 years. Environmental advocates have considered this step by the government to be a significant victory and say that it could help keep six billion tons of the pollutant in the ground.

However, Wyoming’s governor is outraged by the proposed rule and is already considering legal action. The state’s Republican Senator John Barrasso is also quite upset.

Governor Mark Gordon said the Biden administration has shown a complete disregard for blue collar families, local communities and the state’s economy with this new proposal. He just sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over their coal regulations and attempts to abolish production of the energy source. Gordon thinks the federal government is undermining the state’s economy.

“This will kill jobs and could cost Wyoming hundreds of millions of dollars used to pay for public schools, roads and other essential services in our communities,” Barrasso said in a statement.

“Wyoming coal jobs allow families to pay their bills, put food on the table, buy their children some toys for Christmas and maybe take a summer vacation,” Travis Deti, Executive Director of the Wyoming Mining Association, said.

Read more: U.S. Gold interview highlights importance of flagship site’s new mining permit

Read more: U.S. Gold Corp acquires environmental quality permit in Wyoming

Wyoming on track for first major gold mine in years

The state, which hasn’t had a major hard rock mining operation in decades, will soon have a valuable gold-copper asset enter the production phase.

U.S. Gold Corp. (Nasdaq: USAU) just obtained a surface mining permit from Wyoming authorities, a key milestone for the company’s flagship CK Gold Project. The miner still needs a couple less crucial permissions before shovels hit the ground. That should be resolved before the end of this summer.

A recent surge in the price of gold and copper has made the planned project worth an estimated US$3.7 billion. Once commercial production kicks off it will have a 10-year life, producing over 108,000 gold equivalent ounces per annum.

“At this time, diversification from coal — which is diminishing — to gold and copper is a good thing,” U.S. Gold chief executive George Bee told Wyoming’s Cowboy State Daily.

Gold is worth over US$300 more per ounce than it was in January. The value of copper has shot up by 29 per cent since the beginning of 2024 too.

 

U.S. Gold is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 

 

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