Open Spaces
11:04 am
Wed November 9, 2011

December 3rd, 2010

Listen to the whole show

A listing of today's stories:

Republican victories in election benefit Wyoming
Experts say the recent midterm elections could have a significant impact on Wyoming despite the state's Congressional delegation remaining exactly the same. Manuel Quinones explains from Washington.

Debt Commission is coming to Cheyenne
Although the National Debt Commission failed to gets its recommendations advanced to Congress President Barak Obama says a number of the suggestions will be considered by his administration. Next week the Wyoming Business Alliance and Heritage Society will hold a meeting in Cheyenne to look at the recommendations and discuss what should be done next. Brent Hathaway is the Dean of the University of Wyoming College of Business. He is also helping to organize the meeting. He told Bob Beck that the issue of debt is always an interesting topic of discussion

UW professor has a new book coming out on a neglected topic

The University of Wyoming's Department of Economics and Finance continues to be recognized as one of the best in the country. One of the professors in the Department, Ed Barbier, focuses on the economics of the environment and resources. Barbier has written a new book called "Scarcity and Frontiers: How Economies Have Evolved Through Natural Resource Exploitation." The book is primarily a historical analysis of that topic. Ed Barbier joins Renny MacKay to talk about the book

Historian looks for levity in history
University of Wyoming historian and author Phil Roberts and his brothers Steven and David are co-authors of the latest edition of the "Wyoming Almanac." It is available in book stores. Phil Roberts presents some fun facts about Wyoming he has found during his research.

Wyoming company cleans up oil spills with beetle killed trees
A company based in Buffalo, Wyoming has come up with an interesting use for bark beetle killed trees. They are processing the wood to clean up oil spills. Dennis Quenneville is in charge of sales of marketing for L-B-I Renewable. He tells Renny MacKay the company started out three years ago making kitty litter from beetle killed wood.

The work of a governor in waiting
On January 3rd governor elect Matt Mead will take office. Until that time, all Mead has to do is hire a staff and cabinet, understand and adjust the state supplemental budget, and have a grasp and opinion on key legislative issues. It s a lot to learn in about two months and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports Mead is feverishly working to get ready

Group that provides Wyoming lawmakers with proposed bills draws fire
This week several Wyoming lawmakers traveled to Washington D-C for a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC states that its mission is to advance principles like limited government, a free market and federalism. A lot of this is done by creating legislation for state governments. But, it has drawn some criticism and even the label of secretive, but supporters say the organization plays an important role in state government. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports.

More rate hikes on the way for utility customers

Wyoming's largest electrical utility, Rocky Mountain Power, is petitioning to raise rates by more than 20 percent for residential customers. If approved, the increase will be the sixth in six years. And the company isn't alone - every one of the four investor-owned electric utilities in the state has hiked prices since 2009. Wyoming Public Radio's Molly Messick has this story about the causes and effects of rising rates.

Food banks are low on food with new demand
New numbers from the department of labor show unemployment up around the country, however, in Wyoming, that rate has been declining slowly but steadily over the last year. Analysts say the state is doing better than the rest of the nation thanks to the mining and energy industries, however, according to Wyoming's food banks, demand for food has jumped 80-percent since last year and aid workers in the state don't predict the demand to drop off any time soon. Wyoming Public Radio's Tristan Ahtone reports.