Wyoming & China Coal

China produces -- and consumes -- the highest percentage of coal in the world, but at the cost of tens of thousands of lives each year.
China produces -- and consumes -- the highest percentage of coal in the world, but at the cost of tens of thousands of lives each year.

Representative Rosie Berger recently returned from a trip to China as a guest of Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, traveling along with legislators from Alaska, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

Sponsored by the People of China and the Friendship Partnership for Cultural and Business Exchange, Berger explains the purpose of the trip.

Berger says that their group didn't get to visit any coal mines because of security reasons, but they did learn about conditions of the coal mines. The majority of the mines are underground, and the air conditions are quite poor, which contributes to the high fatality rate at the mines.

As to making a connection with Wyoming coal, the Chinese are investing, she says, in Niobrara coal. However, there are still challenges in developing the export capabilities from the U.S. to China, partially because of bottlenecks at west coast ports. Of their recent visit, she tells us.

Berger says that this past legislative session, lawmakers put approximately $250,000 toward a promotion of looking at a survey and working on how Wyoming can market and work with people on the west coast to develop a new port for exporting Cowboy State coal.

Senator Bruce Burns gives a couple reasons why exporting domestically has been difficult.

Berger and Burns were guests on the June 28th edition of Public Pulse. To hear the interview in its entirety, click here: http://www.sheridanmedia.com/pub...

Note -- the discussion of this and other legislative matters is in the second half of the interview.

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