A lot happened in the world of coal mining in the last week or so. The biggest coal company is the United States—Peabody Energy—emerged from bankruptcy, and the Interior Secretary lifted an Obama-era ban on new coal leases.
But what does it all mean for Wyoming’s coal future? To figure it out, Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with Rob Godby, director at the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming.
Last week, President Trump lifted a short-lived moratorium on new coal leases imposed during the last months of the Obama administration. But the reason for that ban wasn’t just environmental.
Rob Godby is the director at the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming. He said President Obama halted new coal leases primarily to evaluate whether, as owners of federal lands, the American public is getting a fair market value from coal companies.
It’s a hard 23 mile hike into the Wind River Range to one of the state’s largest glaciers. It’s called Dinwoody, and every step is a study in the powerful impact this glacier has had on these mountains in the last 1.5 million years.
The Clean Power Plan may face some serious changes, as President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week reversing the Obama administration’s commitment to regulate carbon dioxide produced by coal-burning power plants.
The long-expected executive order is rumored to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to slash regulations of coal-related carbon dioxide emissions by re-writing and re-enacting the plan. From the beginning, industry groups have criticized Obama’s plan for eliminating jobs.
With the fossil fuel industry in a decline, policy makers, industry executives, and environmental activists are faced with some hard questions about Wyoming's energy future. The topic captured the attention of Arundathi Nair, a 9th grader at Laramie High School. She recently won C-Span's StudentCam 2017 competition for her film "Fossil Fuels to Renewables," which promotes seeking solutions through discussion rather than debate.
Wyoming's congressional delegation is thrilled with the executive order President Trump signed to unwind President Obama’s climate change initiatives. But some in their party aren’t happy with the effort to roll back America’s role in combating global warming.