Wyoming coal sale hiatus takes hold in weak market

By: AP
By: AP

Cheyenne, WY (AP) - Diminished demand for coal to generate electricity effectively has achieved an environmentalist goal of suspending sales of federal coal reserves in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

No federal reserves in the basin have sold since June 2012 and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't expect to sell more until at soonest 2015.

The basin's massive mines aren't running short on reserves but coal companies also have had little enthusiasm lately for acquiring more reserves.

Luke Popovich with the National Mining Association says companies want to see a global economic rebound that would boost coal demand worldwide.

The BLM's Wyoming State Office has granted companies' requests to postpone three recent coal lease sales. Meanwhile, environmentalists have asked the BLM to suspend leasing basin coal. The BLM hasn't granted that request.

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