By Tom Gagnon
Guest column 

Coal and orange jump suits


At least now we have something to do with the rainy-day fund, and some people may need orange jump suits.

It just seemed like a big hole in the ground, and how could that be bad out on the empty prairie. It was four decades ago. Cities like Gillette, Wyoming, wouldn’t even be there now, maybe it would be a town, like a prairie-dog town, but not much in human economic terms.

All these big coal mining companies came in, like Arch and Alpha and Peabody. They promised thousands of jobs and infrastructure and a great source of tax money. They actually delivered for a long time, but there...

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