Railroad sees expanded role for PRB coal

Laramie, Wyo. – The surging demand for energy worldwide may spread the reach of Wyoming coal further across the United States.

Steve Bobb is the vice president for coal with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

He says that as the global market heats up, new opportunities will arise for one of Wyoming's chief exports.

"The easiest opportunity is that eastern US coals become more sought after on global markets and so there is a demand pull taking those coals off shore, which continues to create opportunities for Powder River Basin coal in eastern domestic markets," Bobb says.

Bobb says eastern coal burns hotter, which makes it more economical for export.

Meanwhile, Wyoming coal is already going further east as utilities are test burning the product in their boilers.