Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn answered questions and listened to comments during a public meeting in October.

In Confidential Deal, Coal Company Pays Back Taxes To Colorado County

Peabody Energy paid nearly one point eight million dollars in overdue taxes this week to a rural county in western Colorado, resolving, for now, a serious funding concern for a tiny school district there. Communities all over the country count on revenue from fossil fuel extraction to pay for basics like schools and roads. But with the downturn in coal, oil and gas, that steady stream of energy dollars is no longer assured.

Chuck McConnell speaks on behalf of Rep. Scott Tipton (R) at a candidate forum in Steamboat Springs, CO.

In A Race To Represent Coal Country, Two Visions For The Future

What to do about coal jobs has been a major theme this election season, with each side pointing fingers at the other, from the presidential debate stage to local town halls. On Colorado’s western slope, two candidates running for Congress are divided on the issue and are nearly matched in campaign contributions as election day approaches.

Why North Dakota Coal Is The Last Man Standing

The coal industry’s hurting from West Virginia to Wyoming. But there’s a holdout on the Northern Plains, where coal’s alive and well. North Dakota burns lignite, a different type of coal than the rest of the country. But even the industry there feels mounting pressure.

Twentymile Mine in Oak Creek, Colo., is owned by Peabody Energy and employs about 470 people. Peabody filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.

Coal Dependent School Budgets In Crisis

Cheaper natural gas has dealt a blow to the coal industry — and to Routt County school district. Before the district opened an all-day preschool in the small town of Yampa, there wasn’t an affordable day care program for this mostly working class community. When Peabody Energy, owner of Routt County’s Twentymile Mine, went into bankruptcy and failed to pay property taxes, it would have been the first thing to go. But the school district hasn’t let that happen.