CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's coal industry says long delays obtaining new reserves could take a bite out of production if the government doesn't act soon.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has been taking much longer than expected to sell new federal reserves in the nation's top coal-producing region. Some lease auctions planned last year have yet to happen. Marion Loomis, of the Wyoming Mining Association, says coal companies need to be able to plan years in advance to expand their surface mines. He says it's getting to the point where mines might have to curtail production or make other major changes.
BLM Director Bob Abbey says coal is important for providing the nation's energy but the federal coal in Wyoming must be developed responsibly.