power plant

Stephanie Joyce / Inside Energy

The window to comment on the EPA's Clean Power Plan closed on Monday with over 1.6 million comments. A quick search of the 22,718 comments that are publicly posted (less than 1% of the total) showed that Wyoming-ites sent their thoughts in to the EPA at six times the rate of the average American.

Stephanie Joyce

The red smokestacks of the Comanche power plant outside of Pueblo, Colorado can be seen from miles away. The plant supplies power to communities along the Front Range, including Denver, and consumes hundreds of tons of coal an hour in the process. That coal arrives in mile-long trains from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and is stockpiled at the plant. Normally, that pile would be a hundred feet tall, according to Xcel Energy fuel supply manager Craig Romer. But right now, it’s less than a third of that.

This week, the Obama administration announced new regulations  for carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

When the Environmental Protection Agency determined that carbon dioxide emissions were endangering the public in 2009, Ron Surdam, Director of the Carbon Management Institute at the University of Wyoming, says he saw the writing on the wall: there would be a cap on new power plant emissions, which is exactly what the EPA announced this week.

 Plans are moving ahead for three power plants in Wyoming that would burn trash to produce electricity.

Guernsey-based American Renewable Energy Associates proposes to build power plants in Cheyenne and Guernsey.

The Guernsey plant would process 150 tons of garbage a day and produce 9 megawatts. The Cheyenne plant would process 200 tons per day and produce 13 megawatts.

Company spokeswoman Heather Foster says the plants are on schedule to open next year.

A third garbage-fueled power plant would be built in Riverton.