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Campbell County

Campbell County is a county located in the northeast corner of Wyoming. Dubbed the Energy Capital of the Nation, Campbell County supplies 10.6 quadrillion BTUs of energy, or 10 percent of the United States Energy needs—more than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq and Nigeria combined. The county mines more than one-fourth of all American coal—coal produces 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and 35 percent of that is produced from Wyoming coal.

How big is the coal seam? Wyoming’s recoverable reserves total more than 40 billion tons, while the total amount of coal within the state is more than 1.4 trillion tons. Wyoming’s world class coal seams, some of which are more than 120 feet thick, and the proximity of coal to the surface, allow for low production costs. But the main reason Powder River Basin coal is in high demand today is because it is low in sulfur, which equates to very low emissions.

Wyoming coal is currently shipped to 36 states. Virtually 99.99 percent of all the coal produced from the mines in the Powder River Basin goes to power plants in those 36 states to generate electricity. An average of 85 coal trains move coal out of the Powder River Basin daily, and each train carries about 15,000 to 20,000 tons of coal. The trains consist of 115 to 140 coal cars, and are over 1.5 miles long!

A major component of the mining process is reclamation. Because the pre-mine land use prior to mining in the Powder River Basin was grazing and wildlife habitat, the land is reclaimed to a condition equal to or better than the pre-mine condition. The coal industry, nationwide, has reclaimed more than 2 million acres of mined land over the past 20 years. That’s an area larger than the state of Delaware!

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau Report, the population of the County is 46,133, up from 37,405 in 2005. The county was organized in 1911.

Nestled between the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountains, the city of Gillette lies in the heart of the nation’s richest coal fields and is on the path to the greatest national and state parks and monuments including Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Keyhole State Park, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The population in Gillette is 29,087, up from 19,646 in 2000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city was incorporated on January 6, 1892, less than two years after statehood.