CEO and General Manager of Western Fuels Association Announces Retirement

Mar 20, 2015

Westminster, CO - Duane Richards, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Western Fuels Association (WFA) announced his plans to retire in June of this year.  Mr. Richards joined Western Fuels Association in June 2004 following nearly 20 years with Xcel Energy and its predecessor Northern States Power. 

During his 11 years at WFA, Mr. Richards has overseen the production, acquisition and delivery of over 175 million tons of coal to members.  Mr. Richards said, “Through our members, Western Fuels serves the electric consumer at the end of the line.  They aren’t simply a customer or source of revenue, they own us.  Our efforts are focused on achieving the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business practice.  I feel that responsibility to our consumer/owners every day”.

As CEO and General Manager, Mr. Richards continued to strengthen Western Fuels Association’s legacy as an advocate for the coal industry. To promote the role of coal-based electricity and defend its use, Mr. Richards has taken an active and often leadership role in many industry related organizations including Western Coal Traffic League, National Coal Transportation Association, Alliance for Rail Competition, National Mining Association, Colorado Mining Association and American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy.

“Duane has been a strong leader who has managed the company well during challenging times for the coal and rail industry,” said David Geschwind, president of the WFA board of directors.  “On behalf of the board I sincerely thank Duane for his valuable contributions and outstanding service throughout his career at Western Fuels. Duane is an accomplished leader, and we wish him well in retirement."

The board has created a search committee to identify the best person to lead Western Fuels after Duane steps down. For more information about the position, please visit