Two of the nation’s largest coal mine operators, both located in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, have laid off hundreds of people because of a decline in domestic consumption of Wyoming coal. For years, the coal mining industry has directly employed some 6,500 people, providing a $700 million payroll. For a state like Wyoming with a small population, this is a significant number of jobs. These workers, who earn wages well above the state average, have been a critical economic driver in many Wyoming counties. Further each coal mining job supports an estimated 3 jobs in the service, supply and support industries around the state. We are seeing layoffs in these areas as well. Railroads, heavy equipment maintenance and machinists and the trucking industry have all suffered job losses.