A large surface coal mine near Gillette, Wyoming. Located in the heart of the Powder River Basin, Gillette is surrounded by 12 coal mines, some of the largest in the country, employing some 5, people, according to data. In a county just shy of 50, the mines provide jobs for 1 out of every 10 residents.
On a recent March morning, charter buses, similar to the ones that ferry tech workers to the Google and Facebook campuses, head out of Gillette.
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Pickup jobs sporting long poles topped with bright orange flags follow suit. Because Gillette is so interconnected with coal and other fossil energy resources, it faces a barrage of gillette, both economic and regulatory. Production of Wyoming coal has declined 14 percent since Late last month, mass layoffs were announced.
At the largest mine in the region, Peabody Energy Corp. A boomtown since its founding, Gillette is acutely aware of the central role that natural resources, especially coal, have played in its existence. And yet Gillette seems determined to survive in a world that is pushing coal out. It has invested in itself and planned for a future where coal is not king.
The question now facing Gillette is whether it has it done enough: Can this boomtown weather this bust? Shedding a boomtown stigma Founded inthe city was named after railroad surveyor Edward Gillette.
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Today, between 80 and trains speed out of the region daily, carrying Wyoming coal to more than 30 states.
With the passage of the Clean Air Act in and subsequent amendments in the years after, power plants began turning to Powder River Basin coal. Gillette officially became a coal town. Mining Enzi R crafted a city expansion plan aimed at changing the public perception about Gillette.