Coal powers America. Or at least it has for the last sixty years. For most of the last century, anywhere from 45 to 55 percent of US electricity came from coal. And since the 1990s, about 40 percent of that coal came from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, home to eight of the country’s ten biggest coal mines, including the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, the largest coal mine in the world. In 2008, at the peak of production, dozens of mile-long coal trains left the Powder River Basin every day, headed for power plants in more than 30 states. Read more
Western Confluence magazine explores the western United States’ stickiest natural resource issues – drought, freshwater supply, our changing climate, wildfires, invasive species, insect outbreaks, energy development impacts, conservation finance, and more.