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Hauling Gold on the Chief Joe: Montana Officials ‘Take Step Back’ to Review Transport Plan

Montana officials have pledged to “take a step back” and re-evaluate a plan to haul tens of thousands of tons of contaminated mine tailings next summer from Cooke City, Mont., over the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, one of Park County's steepest and most serpentine highways. Wyoming residents have voiced concerns about safety and other issues connected to using the slow-moving, heavily loaded rigs, which measure 97 feet from front to rear axle. Planners say they will work to address local concerns and search for alternative sites where the mine waste may be buried closer to its current location.

Wyoming Pursues Carbon Sequestration Near Rock Springs

Representatives from the University of Wyoming and its industry partners in the Wyoming Carbon Underground Storage Project are studying the viability of injecting billions of tons of carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — into saline formations deep within the Rock Springs uplift, several miles east of Rock Springs. Ron Surdam, director of the University of Wyoming’s Carbon Management Institute, says the ability to inject large quantities of CO2 underground for permanent storage is key to sustaining the $1.2 billion Wyoming receives in annual revenue from the coal mining industry. The project faces public skepticism, technical challenges and unresolved legal questions about who will take responsibility for leaks, contamination and accidents for the long-term, beyond the actual injection and monitoring period of several decades.

Dam The Green River: Irrigators Say Wyoming Needs to Capture More Water

The dual pressures of climate change and ever-increasing demand for water has brought a new sense of urgency to a decades-old idea: to dam the Green River just upstream of the Warren Bridge in Sublette County, close to its glacial source.But the idea still faces decades-old challenges. Studies by the Wyoming Water Development Office staff indicate that the cost of the project – which includes new and improved canal systems over difficult terrain - outweigh the economic benefits for the irrigators.

Voting Rights Case Drags on in Fremont County: At What Cost to Other Counties and Towns?

The pending claims in the Fremont lawsuit are the largest in the Local Government Legal Liability Pool’s 23-year history. The issue of how much the pool—and therefore Wyoming counties and cities—will owe for Fremont County’s costly legal defense in the voting rights case, and for the anticipated costs of the county’s appeal, will be discussed Thursday, Oct. 28, in a key executive-session meeting of the organization’s board of directors in Cheyenne.

Potential Oil Boom in SE Wyo Raises Water Questions

In the arid rolling hills and grasslands of southeast Wyoming there is no surplus of groundwater to allocate, said Bern Hinckley, a hydrogeologist who runs a consulting firm in the city of Laramie. Groundwater in eastern Laramie County, for example, is fully tapped. State regulations require that each gallon diverted to an oil field is a gallon less that can be used to water alfalfa or hay crops used to feed cattle, Hinckley said. "It's a zero-sum game," Hinckley said. "They could hardly have picked a worse place in Wyoming."Industry officials maintain that concerns about water shortages are premature considering no oil wells in the Niobrara field have reported production to the state. John Robitaille, vice president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said there is no reason to believe that water scarcity has slowed the pace of Niobrara development so far, adding, "we don't even know if it's going to become a full-fledged field."

Wind River Tribes Win Big Voting Rights Case

Lander—A federal court decision ordering Fremont County to scrap its system of electing commissioners on a county-wide basis is a major victory for Native Americans who have long complained they are under-represented on the county

Caps & Coal The Wyoming-California Connection

In the summer of 2008, Wyoming’s governor, Dave Freudenthal, went to California for meetings with state officials and utility executives. What he brought was, quite literally, a burning question.California was in the throes of putting together the nation’s first...