The coal industry’s recent downturn is casting ripples throughout the economy in the West. In Wyoming, the unemployment rate is climbing faster than any other state in the country—and it’s not just miners who are struggling. From a hotel in Gillette, Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce explores the fallout from the collapsing mineral economy.
If trends continue, Wyoming will close its gender wage gap last out of all 50 states – in the year 2159. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research predicted that date by looking at salary rates in the state from 1969 to 2013. Julie Anderson is a Research Associate at the institute, and she joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss why Wyoming is such an outlier when it comes to the wage gap.
Educators from across the country are met in Washington D.C. this week for the annual national education conference. Kathy Vetter is the Wyoming Education Association President. While some states still struggle with funding, others have restored education money to pre-2008 levels. That’s not the case in Wyoming, where a downturn in the energy economy has led to cuts in education funding for the first time in many years. Vetter says the cuts came faster than educators thought they would. She tells me that educators fear that things could get worse.
How oil and gas drilling can affect drinking water has been a source of controversy across the country, from Pavillion Wyoming to Pennsylvania. Residents near drilling operations in the Keystone state have filed thousands of complaints, and sometimes waited for YEARS for answers. That’s left some isolated communities to fend for themselves in a quest for clean water. For Inside Energy, Maryam Jameel from the Center for Public Integrity reports.
One of the great hopes for saving the coal industry is the development of a cheap, efficient way to permanently store the carbon emitted from it, but so far, carbon capture and storage has struggled to live up to expectations.
David Mohler is the deputy assistant secretary of clean coal and carbon management at the U.S. Department of Energy, and is in charge of federal research and development in those areas. In an interview, Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce started by asking him what we should make of the fact that a number of carbon capture projects have failed recently after the Department of Energy abandoned its support for them.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has one of the more difficult jobs in Washington this summer: he’s chairing the GOP platform committee for the party’s convention. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on the tough road ahead for the state’s junior senator.
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that kayakers successfully descended the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River in northwest Wyoming, one of the wildest rivers in the U.S. But it was also around then that the state of Wyoming drew up plans to dam the canyon. A new documentary called Our Local Epic by kayakers Will Taggart and Aaron Pruzan explore how the Clark’s Fork became Wyoming's first Wild and Scenic River. Producer Pruzan starts the river's story with the Nez Perse tribe.
When we talk about energy efficiencies, we’re usually talking about efficiencies at home – turning off the lights, unplugging appliances. But power plants have efficiency issues as well – a LOT of energy is lost when we burn fossil fuels to make electricity.
For many Americans, summer means road trips. So Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer checked in with a couple of touring musicians for some pro-tips you can use the next time you hit the open road.