Natural Resources & Energy

Click here for more information on Wyoming Public Media's Natural Resources & Energy.

Genre: 

Pages

Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Will A Republican Senate Help Wyoming Energy Companies? Maybe

What would the nation’s energy policy look like if Republicans capture the Senate this November? Matt Laslo caught up with Wyoming lawmakers and energy analysts to find out the potential impact on the state’s energy sector if the GOP gains control of the upper chamber.

Read more
Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: The Campaign Trail: Climate Change Science In The Classroom

Natalia Macker, candidate for Wyoming's State House, door-knocks with her family near their home in Hoback Junction.
Credit Leigh Paterson

Climate change is a controversial topic in this election cycle, especially when it comes to teaching it in school.  So far only 12 states have adopted a new set of science education standards that include the human impacts on global warming  - and Wyoming is not one of them.

Natalia Macker, who is running to represent District 22 in the Wyoming State House, said something shocking during our recent interview:

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
5:05 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Coal Mines Hiring Appalachian Workers

Coal companies in the Powder River Basin are hiring, and some of those workers will likely come from Central Appalachia.

Companies there have been laying off miners and shuttering operations in recent years. But in Wyoming, companies like Cloud Peak Energy are hiring.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:46 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Interior Secretary Signs Sage Grouse Conservation Agreements With Wyoming Ranchers

Secretary Jewell and Rancher Brad Bousman visit a solar pump that replaced one of Bousman's windmills.
Credit Melodie Edwards

Last week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was in Pinedale, taking part in a ceremony to sign up Wyoming ranchers to help protect sage grouse. These conservation agreements are called Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances or CCAA’s. They’re supposed to protect the birds on private lands, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports, some wildlife advocates question whether the program really has the teeth to make a difference.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
4:42 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Game Bird Farm Program Under Review

Credit Wyoming Game and Fish

The Wyoming Game and Fish will be reaching out for public input about the future of the state’s Game Bird Farm Program. It will hold public meetings until November 18th and an online survey until the 20th. The program stocks several hunting areas across the state and is now under review to gauge hunter’s willingness to help fund the program.

Wyoming Game and Fish Spokesman Robin Kepple Game and Fish says the results from meetings and survey are crucial to the future of the program.

Read more
Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: Climbing The Wind Energy Job Ladder

The wind energy training lab at Laramie County Community College has a variety of equipment, including these electrical trainers.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

Wind power is a growing part of the energy mix in the United States. And along with that growth, there are new job opportunities for people to install and repair the 30-story-tall wind turbines. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, a unique skill set is required -- the fearlessness of a pro rock climber along with the know-how of a skilled mechanic.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
1:42 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Company Pioneers Tech To Cut Cost of Shale Drilling

A Laramie company is testing a device that could help cut the cost of producing shale oil. WellDog announced this month that it’s doing field testing of what’s called a “Raman spectrometer.” The device can help pinpoint oil and gas reservoirs thousands of feet underground. WellDog CEO John Pope says right now, hydraulic fracturing or fracking doesn’t work thirty to fifty percent of the time, but that this technology could dramatically improve that.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
5:39 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Fatality At Peabody Mine Second This Year

A miner was killed at Peabody Energy's North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in the Powder River Basin over the weekend, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The Gillette News Record reports that Darwin Lee Reimer, 51, was driving a haul truck when it went over a highwall. 

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
9:55 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Interior Secretary Praises Sage Grouse Conservation Efforts

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, praised sage grouse conservation efforts in Wyoming during a tour of a ranch outside of Pinedale on Wednesday. The Bousman Ranch is one of nine in Wyoming that have agreed to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service on sage grouse conservation. During the tour Secretary Jewell learned about the ranch’s new strategies for protecting the grouse, such as converting windmill water tanks to solar to eliminate perches for the grouse’s predators like hawks and ravens.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
4:00 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: Oil Engineering Boom: Plenty Of Students, Not Enough Teachers

Colorado School of Mines petroleum engineering professor Carrie McClelland helps one of her smaller seminar classes work through a group project.
Dan Boyce

For Colorado School of Mines petroleum engineering professor Carrie McClelland, teaching a  seminar of 45 students seems like a bit of relief. Normally her class sizes are closer to 80 or 90.

“It makes it difficult to make sure that they’re still getting a great education,” she said.

Read more
Business
2:31 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Fiery Oil-Train Derailments Prompt Calls For Less Flammable Oil

A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., in this Dec. 30 photo. The fiery crash left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate.
Bruce Crummy AP

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 2:58 pm

Once a day, a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields rumbles through Bismarck, N.D., just a stone's throw from a downtown park.

The Bakken fields produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, making the state the nation's second-largest oil producer after Texas. But a dearth of pipelines means that most of that oil leaves the state by train — trains that run next to homes and through downtowns.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:19 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Native Bacteria Used To Clean-Up Uranium Mines

Senior Scientist Jim Clay on a foggy day at Smith-Highland Uranium Mine near Douglas, WY.
Credit Melodie Edwards

There are currently over 4,000 abandoned uranium mines in remote corners of the US. Out of sight, but for people living nearby, not out of mind. Uranium produces radon, which is known to cause lung cancer. In 2012, uranium was found in the tap water on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Many say the time has come to clean up the mess. But that could cost billions. The Obama Administration is tackling the job by pushing for new fees on mining companies, but the industry says they’re too punishing. Now, new research could make uranium clean-up significantly cheaper.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
4:54 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Legislators Consider Who Should Pay For Uranium Regulation

In situ uranium mining involves dissolving the uranium underground and pumping the solution to the surface.

There’s disagreement over whether industry should pay for the state to take over regulation of uranium mining. The Legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee reviewed a draft bill Thursday that would start the transfer of regulatory power from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Read more
News
12:31 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt Kicks Off

Credit Zachary Wheeler

Today marks the first day of the Wyoming Women’s annual Antelope Hunt.

The three-day event is sponsored by the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and brings together 40 women hunters, including guest hunter Ashlee Lundvall, this year’s Ms. Wheelchair USA.

In addition to her pageant title, Lundvall is a stay at home mom and she says that means she contributes to her family’s economic self-sufficiency because it saves them money on childcare.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
3:05 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: Wyoming Governor Offers Coal Country Tour

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has invited Northwest tribal leaders on an all-expenses-paid trip to see the coal operations in his state.
Credit Michael Werner

Treaty fishing rights give Northwest tribes extra clout when it comes to the future of proposed coal terminals on the Columbia River and Puget Sound.

That’s not lost on the governor of Wyoming, a big proponent of coal exports.

Gov. Matt Mead is inviting Northwest tribal leaders on an all-expenses-paid trip to coal country in Northeastern Wyoming, according to an email obtained by EarthFix.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
1:53 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

New Evidence In Grand Teton Moose Death

A National Park Service report about a moose death in Gros Ventre Campground last month is facing some criticism from campers and photographers who were at the scene. The original Park Service report says crowding photographers were the main cause for the Bull Moose charging.

Anna Sullivan is a professional photographer who took several photos and videos of the scene showing that, actually there was no one directly around the moose. Sullivan says her video shows a passing diesel truck was more likely to have spooked the moose.  

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
2:11 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Study Reveals Surprising Chemistry Of Wintertime Ozone

Gas flares from a stack in Utah's Uintah Basin. A new study by NOAA and CIRES scientists shows that chemicals released into the air by oil and gas activities can spark reactions that lead to high levels of ozone in wintertime, high enough to exceed federal health standards.
Credit Scott Sandberg / NOAA

Ozone pollution has been a problem in western Wyoming for years because of oil and gas development, but the chemistry behind it has been a mystery, until now.

A study published this month in the journal Nature looks at how wintertime ozone pollution in rural areas with oil and gas development is chemically different from summertime ozone pollution in big cities. In the Uinta Basin in Utah the researchers found levels of the two main components of ozone were opposite of what they would be in cities.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
1:11 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: Millions Of Tons Oil And Gas Waste: Hazardous Or Not?

Lyn Janssen in her garage posing with her anti-waste pit posters.
Credit David Martin Davies

The United States is on the verge of becoming the world’s top producer of oil – that’s according to the International Energy Agency.  But the oil boom is also leading to a boom in toxic oil field waste that can end up in open pit disposal sites.  There are increasing concerns over the dangers these disposal sites pose for air quality.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
1:00 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Oil And Gas Wastewater Linked To Ozone Pollution

Ozone formation happens around Pinedale in winter, the opposite time of year that it happens in big cities.
Credit Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile

Every day, more than 2 billion gallons of water are produced in the U.S. by the oil and gas industry. The water comes up with the oil and gas, and can contain hydrocarbons like benzene and toluene as well as the chemicals that are injected into the well to produce the oil and gas. But the federal government doesn’t treat waste from the energy industry as hazardous, and much of that polluted wastewater is allowed to simply evaporate. That, as others have reported, could could be a problem.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
12:01 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Wyoming Loses Bid To Appeal Coal Port Decision

Credit Ambre Energy

Oregon has shut down Wyoming’s attempt to force the permitting of a coal export terminal in that state.

The Oregon Department of State Lands rejected Ambre Energy’s application for a permit to build a coal transfer terminal in August, citing concerns about the impact on nearby tribal fisheries. The terminal would allow Powder River Basin coal to be shipped to Asia.

Read more
News
3:24 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

UW Gets Wind Energy Research Grant

Sunset at Royd Moor Wind Farm
Credit Charles Cook via Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $4.2 million grant to the University of Wyoming for wind energy research.

Six different University departments will collaborate on the project.

UW professor Jonathan Naughton is the director of the Wind Energy Research Center and the principal investigator for the grant. He says the goal is to address barriers to rolling out renewable energy in the state—and research will focus on three key aspects.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
4:45 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Report Quantifies Economic Value Of Recreation In Sage Brush Country

Credit Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/15778088@N00/6144251104/">manyfires</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

A new report by the Western Values Project shows that sagebrush lands create millions in recreation income for the state. The report looked at eleven Western states with large amounts of sage brush. 

Senior Economist Kristin Lee with ECONorthWest-- the firm that calculated the data--says Wyoming brought in the fourth highest revenues after Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

“What we found for Wyoming is that there were almost two million visitors to the sagebrush lands in 2013.  And those visitors spent approximately 87 million within 50 miles of those recreation sites.”

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
5:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Fire Severity Not Linked To Beetle Kill, Study Finds

Beetle-killed forest is easily identified by the red needles of the dead trees.
Credit biorootenergy.com

Forests affected by the bark beetle epidemic are just as capable of recovering from wildfire as unaffected forests, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin. Brian Harvey, one of the co-authors of the paper, said they looked at areas throughout the Northern Rockies in various stages of tree death.

Read more
News
4:28 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Wyoming Loses Latest Wolf Battle And Could Ponder A Congressional Fix

Despite an emergency rule that put Wyoming’s wolf management plan firmly into law, a federal judge refused to change an earlier ruling that placed Wyoming wolves back on the endangered species list.   

Washington D.C. based U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who argued that Wyoming’s management plan, which allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, failed to adequately protect wolves. 

Read more
News
3:37 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Judge Rules Against Wyoming On Wolf Status

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.
 
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
12:36 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Utility Withdraws Proposed Solar Surcharge

Solar panels.
Credit Dan Boyce/Inside Energy

Following backlash from customers, South Dakota-based Black Hills Power has dropped a proposed rate increase for solar users. 

The surcharge would have applied to customers in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Although the company has withdrawn the proposal for now, it hasn't ruled out bringing it back in the future. Deb Theriault of Casper-based Range Solar & Wind said even a surcharge of $5 to $20 could be a real disincentive.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
6:45 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Group Hopes To Raise Funds To Protect Mule Deer Migration Bottleneck

Fremont Lake Bottleneck Property and elk fences that will need to be removed

A conservation group hopes to raise $2 million in three months to buy a critical piece of property along Wyoming’s mule deer migration route. At 150 miles, it’s believed to be the longest mule deer migration route in the world. Luke Lynch is with the Conservation Fund, the group raising money to buy the 364 acres, which creates a kind of migration-bridge for the deer to cross between Fremont Lake and the city of Pinedale. As many as 5,000 deer must cross the bottleneck single file there. Lynch says such routes need to be preserved because they’re so rare.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

Read more
Open Spaces
3:53 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Residents Concerned Over Number Of Yellowstone Wildlife Killed

Moose with new calf.
Credit Penny Preston

Cody – Grizzly bears, moose, bison, and many other Yellowstone area animals are hit and killed by speeding motorists every year. But now, a baby moose that made newspaper and magazine headlines when it survived a raging river, has been photographed all alone. Locals fear it is orphaned and unlikely to survive, because a motorist killed its mother. It’s led to a renewed discussion over speed limits and signs in forested areas of northwest Wyoming.

A heavy snowpack swelled the Shoshone River this spring.

Read more
Natural Resources & Energy
2:12 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

National Park Service To Step Up Enforcement At Gros Ventre Campground

Credit Linda Peterson

The National Park Service at Grand Teton National Park will be limiting what areas campers can use in the Gros Ventre campground for the rest of this season. That’s after a crowd Wednesday possibly caused a bull moose to charge, resulting in the fatal injury of a female moose.

Public Affairs Officer Jackie Skaggs says people have been getting far too close to animals, in some cases less than ten feet. She says new, plain clothed rangers will be introduced to protect both people and animals.

Read more

Pages