Moments like this underscore how easily Wyoming can lose money that flows from the federal government.
America’s No. 2 coal-producer, Arch Coal Inc., announced last week that it paid $25 million to acquire 38 percent interest in Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, LLC, one of dozens of companies scrambling to boost coal export capacity from the West Coast to customers in Asia. With the Millennium Bulk deal, Arch joins Peabody Energy Corp. — both major producers of Powder River Basin coal in Wyoming — in banking on the Asian coal market for growth. Wyoming coal producers Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Cloud Peak Energy and railroads Union Pacific and BNSF Railway have all expressed interest in boosting coal exports from the West Coast.
Carbon dioxide leaking from underground storage sites could contaminate drinking-water aquifers with dangerous levels of pollutants such as uranium under the wrong conditions, a new study finds. If stored CO2 bubbled into aquifers made of rock with higher-than-average levels of naturally occurring metals, for example, the presence of the gas in liquid could create acidity, causing the pollutants to flow into the water, according to the research published in Environmental Science & Technology. The study holds implications for carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS, which envisions grabbing carbon dioxide from coal plants and injecting the gas deep underground. The technology has never been proved at scale, although there are test projects sponsored by the Department of Energy and private companies. Many analysts consider the technology critical for slowing climate change, since coal fires almost half of U.S. electricity and spews about a third of national emissions.