Wyoming’s long-held dream of exporting Powder River Basin coal from a terminal off the West Coast was recently dashed when the project’s owner filed for bankruptcy and failed to find an interested buyer.
Lighthouse Resources, Inc. petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 3. The company owns the Decker coal mine in Montana, just north of Wyoming’s border, and over 75 employees lost their jobs last month.
“If anyone wanted to build a new coal port at the site, they’d have to renegotiate every one of those contracts,” Clark Williams-Derry, an energy finance analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told the Star-Tribune. “If Northwest Alloys wanted to build a coal port here, they’d have to start from scratch.”