Amid low prices and weak demand, Peabody Energy has withdrawn an application to lease additional coal on federal land in the Powder River Basin.
Companies nominate coal tracts for leasing and then are invited to bid on them at auction. Peabody expressed interest the Antelope Ridge tracts back in 2011. They contain an estimated one billion tons of coal.
The company withdrew its application last month. The move follows a recent drop-off in federal coal sales in Wyoming—there hasn’t been one since 2012. Arch Coal also pulled one of its applications earlier this year.
Money for building K-12 schools in Wyoming comes from the coal lease sales. Legislators have expressed concern recently about how the state will make up for those lost revenues.