Below is response to the recent Powder River Basin Resource Council’s opposition to the Brook Mine Application from Ramaco CEO Randall Atkins:
Ramaco wants to showcase Sheridan as the “Carbon Valley” for a new higher tech future for one of our State’s oldest, most valuable and abundant natural resources- coal. We have worked to create an opportunity for a new chapter for Wyoming. Indeed, we hope also one for the coal industry. It’s called “Coal to Products”. Ramaco is proud to have invested in Wyoming for almost ten years to try and make this a reality. We are close.
Since 2011, both our employees, and the countless local vendors and professionals we have employed, have been dedicated to improving the Sheridan community and the State.
Our Brook mine may be small by Wyoming’s past standards. But it is unique.
It is the first step in the only vertically integrated coal tech project designed to produce the feedstock for coal-to-product research, development and manufacturing of advanced carbon products and materials.
Our iCAM, carbon advanced materials research center, now under construction, will also be the nation’s first private research facility dedicated to trying to repurpose the coal industry to a higher tech, higher value proposition.
We are indeed trying to “Surf Wyoming”.
Our Brook mine permit has now been over eight years in the making. It has been reviewed, re-reviewed and opined on by the State of Wyoming’s own mining experts at the DEQ.
These experts are people who live and work here. They have reviewed coal mining permits for a living for decades. Their careers are in mine engineering, vegetation, wildlife, history, geology, hydrology, and mine reclamation. They are tasked to help the State judge that someone who taps the State’s resources does so in compliance with the law.
After eight years they have said this permit is more than ready.
The “organizers” of voices in opposition disagree. They want the State to fail to have an energy or extractive resource economy. They also do not seem to care that without that resource-based economy there is no easy way to pay for the public services upon which Wyoming families now depend. New investment, new manufacturing and new mining pays Wyoming’s bills.
Ramaco is dedicated to moving the Wyoming energy economy forward in coal mining, coal research and advanced carbon manufacturing. We want to start at a time when Wyoming now needs it most. We look forward to working with Sheridan to make that brighter future happen.
Perhaps Mr. Atkins could explain why it is so critical that they open a new coal mine at a time when existing mines are struggling, 300 coal miners apparently laid of this week. Their appears to be a glaring excess of production capacity for coal today as well as into the future.
The cost of purchasing and hauling coal from any one of the nearby Montana mines would seem to be pennies on the dollar, and Campbell County coal might cost nickels on the dollar.
I am willing to take it at face value that they intend to find new and amazing uses for carbon, but certainly there is more than enough current capacity to sustain them for many years with out opening up a new mine.
Well if this ever actually develops, remember this has been dragging on forever, I’m sure they’d like to hire experienced miners for their operation. No need to be so dramatic about what is really a pipe dream. The iCam has been under construction forever and it’s not that big, makes you think they didn’t have the money to build it to begin with. If this company really can do what they say then cool, if not oh well. Another Rockwell Petroleum, Carbon Creek, just add them to the list of infamous people that were going to march in there and rock the world in an established industry, that fell flat on their face.
Keep up the good work Ramaco. The general public supports you in your venture. Do not be discouraged by a few negative opinions.
Say goodbye to clean air.
Poisoned air for everything living. Selfish people. Always a buck to be made off the environment. Come to Los Angeles.