"There's enough unleased coal on federal lands in the Powder River Basin to feed the United States' current appetite for coal for 493 years, according to federal figures released Wednesday. Roughly 89 percent of that coal can be mined under certain restrictions and about 11 percent is off-limits from leasing, said the report by three federal agencies."
"On federal land, Wyoming has about 510 billion tons of coal, while Montana has about 40 billion tons."
"According to estimates based on U.S. Geological Survey figures, 95 percent of the resource is too deep to mine by conventional methods."
So, apparently they want to develop the resources with "underground gasification." Wouldn't that be, err, a coal mine fire?
"John Wold, chairman and CEO of GasTech Inc., said his company is seeking to establish underground coal gasification in the Powder River Basin. "In America we have 28 percent of the world's known coal resource," Wold said. "We have shown very little imagination at the government level or private enterprise level for bringing this huge opportunity to fruition.""