Barrasso, Lummis Fight for WY Coal Industry

November 22, 2022

Senators push transportation board to include coal industry representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), joined by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) wrote a letter to Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Martin J. Oberman requesting a plan to fill three vacant seats on the STB’s Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee, which have been vacant for more than two years, with coal industry representatives. These representatives would help ensure the Wyoming coal industry had a voice in surface transportation regulations for the energy industry.

The Senators wrote, “Coal remains the largest volume commodity on our nation’s railways. The lack of rail service is keeping coal from being shipped to utilities under service contracts and is even reducing the amount of mined coal. Missed trains and large delays caused by a lack of crews and irregular schedules have forced some coal mines to limit the production of coal, which ultimately results in lost jobs, despite the high demand and abundantly available resources.”

Wyoming is the top producer of coal in the United States, producing 41.4% of total coal in 2021. In 2021, the coal industry employed 4,567 people in Wyoming and had estimated revenues of over $300 million. The Wyoming government relies heavily on tax revenue from coal and other energy sources to fund necessary government operations and services. The ability to export that coal via rail is essential for the success of this industry.

Read the letter here.