Wyoming Governor Matt Mead announced that Wednesday is the day Wyoming will have mined 10 billion total tons of coal. In a media release, Governor Mead said this is a significant achievement, not just for the state but for the entire country. He says coal mining has provided employment for thousands across the state all while fueling the nation's economy, growth and energy independence.
The Cowboy State has been the nation's leading producer of coal since 1987, standing as the source of roughly 40 percent of all the coal mined in the United States. Mead said the importance of the coal industry in the state cannot be emphasized enough, citing the fact that it's paid for the construction of new schools in all four corners of Wyoming.
Just last year, Wyoming's coal mines produced 401 million tons - worth nearly $4 billion dollars. The Wyoming State Geological Survey has records of coal production dating back to 1865, when the state was then still a territory. Twenty percent of the country's coal last year came specifically from Wyoming's North Antelope Rochelle and Black Thunder Coal Mines.