Coming to Grips With Post-Coal Reality in Wyoming
Dustin Bleizeffer reports on the human toll of the coal industry's collapse in Wyoming, where the state made billions off the coal industry, but now has thousands of recently laid off workers in need of help. Bleizeffer provides the backstory:
For 40 years, Gillette, Campbell County and all of Wyoming have feasted on revenues from mining coal — spending billions of dollars on roads, pipelines, schools and other public facilities, and socking away billions in savings. The corpus of Wyoming’s Permanent Mineral Trust Fund stands at more than $7 billion (bolstered mostly by coal, oil and natural gas). The Wyoming State Treasurer’s Office says it invests a total $19 billion.
Growing ranks of unemployed are lamenting the loss of high-paying jobs (Wyoming coal miners, on average, gross $82,000) and wondering if they will have to move away from towns built with excellent public facilities, financed by coal industry revenues. The article concludes by explaining the details, such as they are, of the state's response to the coal industry layoffs.