Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued a rebuke of the federal government's attempt to block a planned joint venture between Arch Coal and Peabody Energy. 

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in federal court alleging that the venture would create an unfair advantage for the two largest coal companies operating in Wyoming.

“I believe this complaint by the Federal Trade Commission is a wrongheaded attempt to drive a nail into an industry which is struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace," Gordon said in a written statement. "It could also result in significant impacts to the workforce of the North Antelope Rochelle and Black Thunder coal mines." 

Gordon added that alternative energy sources including wind, solar and natural gas have become more competitive in recent years. Halting the joint venture would only exacerbate problems for the already-struggling coal industry, the governor said.

Arch and Peabody announced in June that the two companies intend to combine the Black Thunder and North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mines in Campbell County. The North Antelope Rochelle Mine is the largest coal mine in the world, according to Peabody.

The proposed joint venture also includes combining operations in Colorado.

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