Community reacts to Sunrise Coal idling production

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Hallador Energy Company announced Monday that its wholly owned subsidiary Sunrise Coal, LLC, is temporarily idling production at its Carlisle mine in Sullivan County.

It will result in an immediate reduction in force of 90 full-time employees.

In a press release, Hallador’s Chief Financial Officer Larry D. Martin cited weak market conditions that resulted in an over-supply of domestic coal, forcing the company to reduce its production.

“The employees who are affected by this action are a part of the Sunrise family, and we regret the impact this will have on their families and the community. We thank them for their dedication and service,” Martin said.

County council member Jerry Payne said he heard the news Monday morning and feels this decision will affect more than those who were laid-off.

“If these individuals can find other jobs and stay and still continue their family growth, their financial growth in our county it will be a good thing,” Payne said. “But when those people have to leave our county to find jobs other places, then you got the negative effect coming back all around you again.”

As a result of the announcement, Hallador said it will shift production to its lower cost operations at Oaktown, Indiana, and reduce its sales guidance to 7.0 million tons for 2020.

One Carlisle business owner, Larry Cox said he isn’t worried.

“Small towns go through so many things. Years ago when I was little, there was a trailer factory down here and it closed. There were people that just went other directions and I think people in small towns are resilient,” he said. “They’ll bounce back. I think everything will be okay no matter what happens.”

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