Gillette, Wyo. once produced 40% of all U.S. coal, but is now losing half its jobs as coal demand plummets. A nearby town survived a bust in the 1950s and offers lessons.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
The state that produces 40% of America’s coal is trying to figure out a new future for itself. Gillette, Wyo., has seen five big coal companies go bankrupt since 2015 and is looking for ways to survive the boom and bust cycles of the industry. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim reports.
COOPER MCKIM, BYLINE: Stacy Moeller spent her whole life working as a coal miner here, and she loved it. It enabled her to provide for her family as a single mom. She’s just retired, and near the end of her career, it became evident she got out at the right time.