Apr 11, 2012 - The Associated PressWyoming is the nation's top producer of coal, with thousands of workers employed by the industry. Wyoming State Geological Survey
LARAMIE (AP) -- The executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association is concerned about low prices for coal.
Marion Loomis says the price of Wyoming coal has dropped from $14 a ton to $6 a ton in the past six months because of low natural gas prices and less demand from power plants.
Speaking at a forum in Laramie on Tuesday, Loomis says Wyoming coal is still selling for higher prices because of contracts negotiated several years ago.
But as those contracts expire, new contracts will be negotiated, and customers will push for lower prices unless market conditions change.
Loomis said he hopes the prices will turn around soon before many new contracts are negotiated at the lower prices.
Wyoming is the top coal-producing state in the United States. It relies on the coal industry for billions of dollars in taxes, royalties and fees. The industry employs thousands of workers in high-wage jobs.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.