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History

SELECTED SUMMARY OF EVENTS

1974-1976

  • WFA was incorporated as Wyoming Corporation on July 9, 1974
  • Sunflower was considering the construction of the Holcomb Station
  • KCBPU was working on the Nearman Station
  • Sikeston was working on the Sikeston Station
  • Laramie River Station broke ground
  • WFA had offices in Washington D.C., Gillette and Cheyenne
  • Opened an office in Denver - for exploration and development

1977

  • Ongoing study of an underground mine in southern Illinois to supply coal to Sikeston and KCBPU (Brushy Creek Mine)
  • Nearman and Sikeston Stations under construction

1978

  • Order the first railcars (242)
  • Western Fuels-Illinois, Inc. started construction ofthe Brushy Creek Mine (underground)

1979

  • On April 12, 1979 the first coal was delivered to LRS (from the Jacob's Ranch Mine) and within several days the first coal was delivered to Cajun (from the Clovis Point Mine)
  • Coal was mined from the Brushy Creek Mine

1980

  • First deliveries to Nearman, Quindaro and Sikeston
  • Holcomb station was under construction
  • Western Fuels-Utah, Inc. was working on the Deserado Mine
  • Plains Escalante Generating Station broke ground on August 4, 1980

1981

  • Sikeston deliveries started
  • WFA delivered 10,000,000 tons of coal

1982

  • Major litigation started against the Burlington Northern Railroad

1983

  • Started delivering coal to Holcomb and Plains
  • Coal shipments from Deserado Mint to Bonanza Station began

1984

  • Settled the litigation with the Burlington Northern Railroad - major victory
  • SMMPA joined
  • Vice-President George Bush visits the Brushy Creek Mine

1985

  • Ken Holum (the founder and first General Manager) retires
  • Fred Palmer (attorney for WFA during its litigation against the Burlington Northern) is hired as the General Manager
  • Escalante- Western Railway is completed (for delivery of coal to Plains)
  • SMMPA becomes a Class "B" member (Sherco III)
  • At this time, WFA was the nation's single largest purchaser and shipper of coal from the Wyoming/Montana Powder River Basin

1986

  • Railroad Anti-Monopoly Act - top priority - WFA sought true competition

1987

  • First unit train was sent to SMMPA

1988

  • Continued problem with Railroad industry practice (discriminatory pricing of rail services)

1989

  • Western Fuels-Wyoming, Inc. is created and the Dry Fork Mine is developed
  • Growing concern about a carbon tax
  • Railcar fleet is over 900 cars

1990

  • Participated in the debates over the Clean Air Act Amendments
  • Delivered almost 19,000,000 tons of coal
  • Delivered first coal from Dry Fork Mine to LRS

1991

  • WFA made significant investments in the global climate debate
  • Financed the production of "The Greening of Planet Earth"

1992

  • Western Fuels-Colorado was created
  • Coal deliveries exceeded 20,000,000 tons for the first time

1993

  • Started litigation for Plains against the Santa Fe Pacific
  • New Horizon Mine dedication

 

1994

  • Shipped almost 23,000,000 tons of coal
  • WFA headquarters was moved to Denver

1995

  • Our employees remain highly productive even as WFA adjusts its affairs to accommodate difficult energy markets

1996

  • Railroads are in a mode of consolidation and merger
  • WFA is described as "an especially aggressive industry player"
  • In October, Dry Fork Mine reduces production to 1 million tons annually and reduces workforce from about 45 employees to 9 employees. Reduction is scheduled to last through the year 2000

 

1997

  • KCBPU and Sikeston stop taking BCCC coal and start burning Powder River Basin coal
  • WFA occupies the front line in the battle for Americans' right to cheap electricity
  • Seeks STB authorization to extend the Powder River Basin ''joint line" north

 

1998

  • EPA determines that Clean Air Act was potentially applicable to C02
  • WFA creates the Greening Earth Society
  • Shipped 24,000,000 tons

 

1999

  • Settled the ongoing litigation with the BNSF and the UP
  • WFA is deemed Y2K-compliant
  • Premiered "The Greening of Planet Earth Continues"

 

2000

Fred Palmer retires (closed the Virginia office)

  • Robert P. Norrgard is hired as the new General Manager
  • Dry Fork Mine ramps up production to about 2.8 million tons and increases workforce to about 37 employees
  • WFW buys full control of the Dry Fork Mine (buyout of North Gillette Coal Company who was a limited partner)
  • Rail fleet of 1,400 cars

2001

  • Liberty Coal Mine (at the site of the Brushy Creek mine) is developed

2002

  • Liberty Coal Mine begins operations
  • Dry Fork Mine increases production from 2,300,000 tons per year to almost 5,000,000 tons
  • Sunflower begins mercury testing at its Holcomb Station (WFA provides financial assistance)

2003

  • Coal mining operations at the Dry Fork Mine, the New Horizon Mine and the Liberty Coal mine continue
  • Construction starts at Springerville (400 mw)

 

2004

  • Robert P. Norrgard retires
  • Duane Richards is hired as WFA's CEO
  • WFA files a complaint with the Surface Transportation Board against the BNSF seeking agency redress from the unreasonable rail rates to LRS that were imposed by the BNSF
  • Basin Electric and Tri-State purchase the Ft. Union Mine from Kennecott

 

2005

  • Basin Electric plans to locate its proposed Dry Fork Station next to the Dry Fork Mine (expected to be operational in 2011)

 

2006

  • 8800 btu coal rose to $20.00 per ton
  • Record shipments to LRS
  • Sunflower, Sikeston, KCBPU and SMMPA execute a Pool Train Agreement (128 Dual Service Aluminum Coal Cars)
  • ARPA becomes Class C Member

 

2007

  • Signed Alliance Agreement with ACES Power Marketing
  • Record deliveries to Sherco and Holcomb
  • SMMPA and Kansas City extend membership in WFA and upgrade their membership from Class B to Class A
  • ARPA signs coal supply agreement beginning in 2008

 

2008

  • Dairyland Power Cooperative and Madison Gas and Electric become Class "C" members
  • Dry Fork Mine and New Horizon Mine both achieve 5 years without a lost time accident
  • CEO accepted invitation to Chair NMA Sub-Committee on Transportation

2009

  • Victory in LRS rate case before the STB - awarded $345 million in rate relief and damages
  • WFA signs agreement to provide coal supply, coal transportation and railcar acquisition services for the Sandy Creek Station
  • Worked on EPA Climate Change Regulations

2010

  • WFW converted to a single member cooperative with WFA being the sole member.
  • Dry Fork Mine received the National Award for Excellence in Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation from the U.S. Department ofInterior; the Wyoming Game and Fish Department award for Industry Reclamation and Wildlife Stewardship; the State of Wyoming Land Quality Division Excellence in Surface Mining award; and the State Mine Inspector safety award for no lost time injuries in 2010.
  • Long time Director Harold "Hub" Thompson retired (1988-2010)

2011

  • Tri-State and WFC purchase Colowyo Mine in western Colorado.

2012

  • Added Grand Island Utilities to WFA membership
  • Provided fuel procurement services.

2013

  • Hired regulatory affairs manager
  • Hired Dave Gauntner - Dry Fork Mine Manager

2014

  • 40th Anniversary Energy Conference.
  • Duane Richards announced his retirement