"CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Diminished domestic demand has produced a virtual moratorium on federal coal sales in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, home to the 10 top-producing coal mines in the country.
No federal reserves in the basin have sold since June 2012, and none are expected to sell until at least 2015. That's partly because the massive, open-pit mines generally have enough reserves to last some years, but also because coal companies aren't making long-term investments to buy more.
Companies appear to be holding out for a solid, sustained resurgence in global demand, said National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich."