By Molly Messick
Gillette, Wy – Declining coal production has contributed to a steep drop in revenue for Campbell County, and a much smaller county budget this fiscal year. But County Commissioner Dan Coolidge says it's the drop in coalbed methane production that's really hitting hard.
"Where we've been hurt probably the worst is with the coalbed natural gas. And that's because the price is so terrible That we've not seen hardly any new exploration and in addition to that we've actually seen a lot of production shut in because of the low price."
Coolidge says that the Campbell County budget will probably drop by more than 40 percent this year, down to a budget of about 100 million dollars. Even at that amount, the county budget will be well above the total revenue of most other counties in the state in recent years.