"CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- The federal government cleared the way for the expansion of one of the nation's biggest coal mines Thursday over the concerns of environmentalists who said the coal could contribute to climate change.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the sale of coal reserves in the Powder River Basin next to Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope mine, which is the nation's fifth most productive coal mine and yielded nearly 36 million tons in 2008. Cloud Peak Energy Inc. wants to mine an additional 430 million tons of coal reserves at the surface mine.
The BLM expects to offer 410 million tons of coal in two sales later this year, said Cindy Wertz, a spokeswoman in the agency's state headquarters in Cheyenne."
Mead Gruver reports for the Associated Press April 1, 2010.