Articles written by Greg Johnson

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 By Greg Johnson    Opinion    June 16, 2022

GUEST COLUMN: Agree or not Jan. 6 hearings are history we need to witness

A once-in-a-generation political crisis that’s systematically tightened its grip on the foundations of America’s democracy is coming to a crescendo with this month’s hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Thursday’s prime-t... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    April 29, 2021

Peabody loses $77 million in Q1; PRB mines 'extremely strong' in quarter

GILLETTE – Despite losing more than $77 million in the first quarter of 2021 and a prolonged COVID-19 hangover affecting U.S. thermal coal, Peabody Energy Corp.’s Powder River Basin mines were a bright spot for the company. The company’s three PRB m... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    COVID-19    July 16, 2020

Gordon frustrated by 'cavalier' coronavirus attitudes

GILLETTE - As some vocal Wyoming residents continue to lose patience with and push back against any and all coronavirus-related public health measures, it's clear Gov. Mark Gordon also is frustrated.... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 9, 2020

Gordon says Occidental bid above board

GILLETTE — Gov. Mark Gordon is defending a decision by the State Loan and Investment Board to go ahead with a state bid for a package of assets owned by Occidental Petroleum. The company bought the property and other Wyoming assets as part of its $... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    April 23, 2020

Coal producers lay off 300 PRB workers

GILLETTE — The Powder River Basin’s coal workforce shrunk by about 6% Thursday with the layoff of 300 workers from three mines. Peabody Energy Corp. employees were informed Thursday that about 170 employees have been laid off from the North Antelope... Full story


COVID-19 another hit on already-reeling coal industry

GILLETTE — Already trying to bail out a ship taking on water, Powder River Basin coal producers are now trying to keep that up during a torrential downpour. An already-battered coal industry will struggle to make it through the rest of 2020 as much o... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    March 5, 2020

Peabody lays off 50 temporary workers

GILLETTE — Peabody Energy Corp. has laid off about 50 workers from its flagship North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in southern Campbell County. The move impacts temporary workers at the world’s most productive open-pit coal mine and represents a red... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    October 3, 2019

Blackjewel mines sold again

GILLETTE — A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved the sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines in Campbell County to Eagle Specialty Materials. The ruling by Judge Frank W. Volk in Charleston, West Virginia, clears the way for ESM, a s... Full story


Contura makes deal to reopen mines

GILLETTE — Contura Energy Corp. has announced it has an agreement that will allow Eagle Specialty Materials LLC, an affiliate of FM Coal LLC, to operate the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal mines, which have been shuttered since July 1. Under the a... Full story


Blackjewel hints at recall of miners

GILLETTE — A letter to locked out Blackjewel LLC coal workers at the company’s shuttered Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr operations foreshadows a possible reopening of the mines and leaves almost 600 employees with more questions than answers. Bla... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 29, 2019

Blackjewel says mine sale not dead

GILLETTE — Blackjewel LLC says the three-week old negotiations between Contura Energy Inc. and the federal government continue and a potential sale of two large Wyoming coal mines is not “dead.” Stephen Lerner, a Blackjewel bankruptcy attorney from... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 22, 2019

Contura sale runs on as patience runs out

GILLETTE — Patience may be a virtue, but if you’re among the nearly 600 locked out Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal miners who have been out of work for 56 days, it’s also more difficult to practice. For many, there is no more patience. Deanna Fritz... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 22, 2019

Court filing: Sale of Wyoming mines to Contura 'dead'

GILLETTE — A proposed sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines to Contura Energy Corp. “is dead,” according to a Tuesday afternoon U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing in the case of Blackjewel LLC. In a response to a Blackjewel motion to separ... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 15, 2019

Cloud Peak finds buyer for mines

GILLETTE — Cloud Peak Energy Corp., one of the Powder River Basin’s largest coal mine operators, has accepted a bid from Navajo Transitional Energy Co. to buy “substantially all of Cloud Peak Energy’s assets.” Cloud Peak announced the sale Friday, w... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 1, 2019

Campbell County objects to Blackjewel sale

GILLETTE — In the absence of another qualified and better bid, Contura Energy Corp. may be one step closer to acquiring the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Campbell County and nearly 600 workers may be close to being recalled to work. Wednesday w... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 1, 2019

Contura winning bidder for Blackjewel's Wyoming mines

GILLETTE — Nearly 600 Blackjewel LLC coal workers in Wyoming and West Virginia may see a monthlong forced layoff end soon after the company has agreed to sell a trio of mines to Contura Energy Inc. An agreement to sell the company’s flagship Eag... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    August 1, 2019

Court approves Blackjewel mines sale

GILLETTE — Contura Energy Inc. plans to reinstate about 500 jobs immediately at the locked out Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal mines now that it's been given a green light to buy the mines from bankrupt Blackjewel LLC on Tuesday. The sale was a... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 25, 2019

Contura agrees to buy back Blackjewel's Wyoming mines

GILLETTE — Blackjewel LLC has reached a deal to sell the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte surface coal mines in Campbell County along with a mine in West Virginia. If approved, Contura Energy would become the stalking horse bidder for Blackjewel’s wes... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 18, 2019

Blackjewel gets $2.9 million to stay afloat

GILLETTE — Blackjewel LLC may be closer to selling its flagship Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Campbell County than it is to securing financing to reopen and resume operations at its more than 30 operations in Wyoming, Kentucky, Virginia and W... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 4, 2019

Blackjewel closes two mines, nearly 600 out of work

GILLETTE — Nearly 600 workers at Blackjewel LLC’s coal mines in Campbell County are suddenly out of work after the company abruptly closed its Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines Monday afternoon. The move came just hours after the company had filed for... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 4, 2019

Judge says paying Blackjewel employees is top priority

GILLETTE — Wyoming Blackjewel LLC employees still having problems with their final regular paychecks may have those worked out by Friday. Concerned over reports of Blackjewel LLC employees not being paid, a federal bankruptcy court judge held a s...

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 4, 2019

Former Blackjewel CEO says he's not a crook

POSTED: July 8, 2019 GILLETTE — Partially prompted by threats from locked-out Blackjewel LLC coal miners and others, former company President and CEO Jeffrey Hoops Sr. maintains he’s not a crook, did not steal from company accounts and took ext... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 4, 2019

Blackjewel lockout is near worst-case scenario for basin

GILLETTE — It didn’t take this past week’s bankruptcy and lockout of 1,700 Blackjewel LLC workers countrywide to convince Melissa Peterson-Worden that the struggling coal producer was reaching a financial critical mass. “I knew it was coming and it w... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    July 4, 2019

Blackjewel hit with class action lawsuit

GILLETTE — A Gillette employee of Blackjewel LLC has filed a class-action lawsuit against the coal mining company, claiming it failed to give its 1,700 employees proper notice or pay wages and other benefits earned before and after Blackjewel f... Full story

 By Greg Johnson    News    May 9, 2019

Cloud Peak files for bankruptcy

GILLETTE — Cloud Peak Energy’s bankruptcy filing Friday afternoon may be the beginning of the end for the Gillette-based coal producer. Unlike previous Powder River Basin coal bankruptcies, Cloud Peak seems to be looking to shed debt and sell its... Full story


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