Report: Wyoming coal production likely faces more declines

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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A federal agency report is predicting falling coal production in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

The Energy Information Administration report released Tuesday says the basin's production could fall to about 260 million tons (236 million metric tons) by 2023 and then remain relatively stable to slight declining in the following decades.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that confidence in coal has improved in Wyoming in the last year as production climbed out of a historic slump and companies tightened operations.

Wyoming produces about 40 percent of the country's coal.

But declining demand for coal to burn in power plants has rapidly eroded coal's dominance in the electricity market. In the last three years, coal went from producing about 40 percent of the country's electricity, to 30 percent.

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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