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Western Interior

Drill into subregion of western interior:

The Western Interior region, as defined by the USGS, encompasses coal mines in Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.  Oklahoma produced 1.5 million tons of coal in 2008 (0.13% of national production) ranking it 21st among coal mining states.  In that same year, Kansas produced 0.4 million tons (23rd in US) and Missouri produced 0.2 million tons (24th in US).

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Coal Loophole May Block SEK Revenue

January 6, 2011

As part of a deal to permit the construction of the Sunflower Power Plant in western Kansas, the Kansas legislature passed a bill requiring the plant to burn a mix of coal that included coal mined in state. However, now that the plant has been permitted, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment says that a loophole exempts Sunflower from burning any Kansan coal at all, and Sunflower’s permit says they’re only burning coal from the Powder River Basin.

Legislators responsible for the law are not happy. “It does concern me, because that is part of the agreement and it’s why I voted for the bill. This provided jobs down here and I looked at the potential for those jobs… Here we go again, we’re getting treated like the red-headed stepchild” said Democrat Bob Grant, one of the authors of the bill. As for why? Sunflower Electric is partially controlled by the Western Fuels Association which runs the Dry Fork Mine in the Powder River Basin. WFA was unavailable for comment.

Read article at http://www.gpace.org/news/coal-loophole-may-block-sek-revenue/

MSHA settles with Oklahoma mine operator for $375,000

December 2, 2010

The Farrell-Cooper company has come to a settlement with MSHA to resolve a 2007 death of a miner in its Rock Island Mine in Le Flore County, Oklahoma. Jack Ward, a 66 year-old dump truck operator, was killed when he backed up too far while emptying his vehicle, rolling 177 feet down the side of the dump slope, and coming to rest with the operator’s cabin under water. Mr. Ward’s cause of death was drowning.

As a result of the accident, Farrell-Cooper agreed to pay a $375,000 fine and accept 7 citations from MSHA, three for flagrant violations. One violation was for Farrell-Cooper lying about the amount of training Mr. Ward had received; Farrell-Cooper had reported eight hours of training, yet Mr. Ward was only on site for two hours the day of the travel. Mr. Ward was killed in his 10th day of employment at the mine.

Read article at http://www.msha.gov/MEDIA/PRESS/2010/NR101202.asp