The Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming is the largest concentration of coal reserves in the United States. It is a landlocked region, and its reserves are owned largely by the public. Their development—by companies that include Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources, and Peabody Coal—revolves around a business model that includes exemptions on federal royalties and expansion of coal-export facilities in the northwestern United States. Key also to the business model of Powder Basin coal producers is an assumption that declining thermal seaborne coal markets will rebound.
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