Defying the pro-coal agenda of the current Administration, residents in Wyoming are taking action to block the construction of a new coal mine, even as the state sees a growth in coal production.
Ramaco Carbon, a Chinese company seeking to construct a new coal mine near Ranchester, Wyoming earlier this year is finding their business plans impeded by actions from local residents who want the plant out of their state.
Rather than allowing another mine to be constructed, Ranchester residents lobbied their local government to block the company’s permit, arguing that the proposed mine presented environmental concerns.
The arguments from the residents against the mine may sound familiar, particularly to those who followed the months-long saga at Standing Rock. Residents claim that a new mine in the proposed spot would leave waterways vulnerable to pollution, as well as leaving the area vulnerable to increased sinkholes.
Additionally, residents complain that the EPA did not adequately gather data on the proposed plan and didn’t consult with locals before granting their permit.
As a result of these arguments, the plan proposed by Ramaco was rejected by the Powder River Resource Council, a regulatory agency in a 4-1 vote.
Now, Ramaco will have to either abandon their project and search elsewhere for a location for their plant, or provide a whole new proposal for the Council to accept or reject.
Even as Wyoming experiences a growth of coal in their current plants, residents are catching onto the fact that the industry is on its way out. Even if foreign investors seek to suck the coal beds in the state dry, those who live and raise families there know that the promise of a growth in the coal industry is an empty, fleeting promise.