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'Wild lands' bullet dodged, oil still spills in Wyoming

‘Wild lands’ bullet dodged, oil still spills in Wyoming

The Obama administration’s announcement this week to dump the so-called “wild lands policy” was not unexpected. The policy was already dead in April when the GOP successfully barred the Interior department …

Subsidy Cut Wasn't a Rig-Killer

Subsidy Cut Wasn’t a Rig-Killer

This week Wyoming’s congressional delegation cheered the demise of a bill that would have cut some tax breaks to the top five oil companies, a measure estimated to bring in $21 billion in revenue over …

Partisan coal – #5

I come from Gillette, so I’m familiar with the time-honored tradition among many in the coal mining industry to declare during presidential campaigns that the Democratic candidate (fill in blank) will shut down the coal industry if elected. Some have gone so far as to hand out stickers to miners on election day stating “VOTE RIGHT” and suggesting their jobs may depend on it.The notion is that all Democrats just think coal is icky and, heck, why not switch off — over night — the fuel that powers nearly half of the nation’s electricity? This notion about Democrats and coal is entirely outlandish (see: Democrat Dave Freudenthal, former Wyoming governor, joins board of Arch Coal Inc.), but it’s part of America’s political discourse.

WOC: Energy efficiency bill serves Wyo's interests

Richard Garrett Jr., legislative advocate for the Wyoming Outdoor Council, argues that House Bill 179, the energy efficiency bill, would help electric utility customers audit their energy consumption and finance energy efficiency improvements. The full Senate will debate the bill

A Reluctant Move Away from Coal

Scores of new coal-fired power plants that were being planned across the nation six or seven years ago have mostly been shelved. Last year alone, utilities and power-generating companies dropped plans to build 38 coal plants, according to the Sierra Club, while announcing they would retire 48 aging, inefficient ones. Stepping into the void is natural gas and renewables. Utilities have also more aggressively embraced demand-side management strategies to bend down the growth curve.

As coal prices soar, Wyoming needs to increase severance taxes

Gov. Matt Mead and the newly convened Legislators should at least look at what former Gov. Sarah Palin did in Alaska, in modifying that state's severance tax rates.My understanding is that the Alaska system involves indexing rates, which is what Wyoming should consider. As coal prices rise, so should the severance tax rate. As prices go down, so should the rate. This is fair and market-driven. With an outlook this promising, Wyoming citizens and the future generations of Wyomingites will benefit greatly.

Why the defeatist attitude toward carbon sequestration?

In 1969 the U.S. set off a 40 kiloton nuclear bomb underground near Rulison, Colo., to “stimulate” natural gas production. But, hey, it’s the slow, monitored injection of CO2 that’s going to set off an earthquake.To be fair, the numbers produced in modeling carbon sequestration are staggering. According to one initial estimate by the Wyoming State Geological Survey, the Rock Springs Uplift in southwest Wyoming could accept up to 26 billion tons of CO2. That’s a lot of liquefied gas. Wyoming’s gross gas production over the past three years equals only about 0.006 percent of that volume.

Interior official: Modernize the grid

The investment is critical to increasing the use of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources, as well as cleaner coal technologies such as carbon capture and seqestration, said Steve Black, counelor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.“The importance of modernizing the electricity grid in this nation really cannot be overstated,” said Black. “Wyoming, for a small state, it is truly at the epicenter of all of what we’re doing in the West, particularly on energy,” said Black.Black discussed Wyoming’s role in meeting the president’s clean energy goals during a meeting of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority today in Jackson, an event that attracted about 100 professionals in the electrical generation and transmission industry.

Shifting markets haven't tripped up PRB coal

Naturally, there’s some concern among Powder River Basin producers that eastern utilities will tap coal resources closer to home that have higher Btu content and lower transportation costs. But there’s not been a great deal of coal-switching. Each coal-fired unit must be carefully dialed-in to the specific blend of coal its fed. Switching coal sources and recalibrating these units is not easy or inexpensive.