BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — U.S. officials and the governors of coal-rich Western states are meeting with Chinese energy officials in a bid to advance coal-fired technologies that have struggled to gain traction.
Tuesday's conference in Billings takes place near one of the largest coal reserves in the world — the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.
It comes as the industry has suffered a beating in recent months: Mining companies going bankrupt, proposals to hike coal royalties and lease payments, and cheap natural gas squeezing out demand for coal.
Those woes are in addition to concerns over coal's role in climate change.
Advanced coal technologies purport to capture the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, but they're expensive, and efforts to develop them for commercial use have foundered in the U.S.