President Donald Trump

Gavin Bade

The Trump administration has confirmed a proposed bailout to the coal and nuclear industries. A memo from the Department of Energy was leaked recently outlining the plan. It would force utilities to buy electricity and capacity from retiring coal and nuclear plants to keep them alive for two years. University of Richmond Law Professor Joel Eisen, who has written extensively on matters on administrative law, energy, and the electric grid, helps make sense of what the draft memo means.

Screenshot of the leaked DOE memo obtained by Bloomberg last week
Gavin Bade

The Trump administration is planning to keep coal and nuclear-fueled power plants alive, according to a 41-page memo acquired by Bloomberg News. The plan would enable the federal government to buy electricity from coal and nuclear plants that were planning to retire. If the bailout becomes a reality, it will be the first of its kind.

NPS photo by Neal Herbert

The Trump administration is forcing the head of Yellowstone National Park out of his job. Dan Wenk said the National Park Service will replace him with a new superintendent this August.

President Trump has overturned a rule requiring outfitters to pay river and backcountry guides on public lands a minimum wage.


United States Department of Agriculture

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Wyoming as part of a tour of the Mountain West. Secretary Perdue Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that he is getting a lot of feedback from producers over tariff and trade issues and how that might hurt Wyoming producers.

President Trump just dismantled policies requiring federal agencies reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and meet other environmental targets.


The governors of neighboring Western states shared a stage Tuesday to talk about energy. Utah Republican Gary Herbert and Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper agreed about many issues — until they were asked afterward about the Trump administration. That's when it became clear they have contrasting views on how the federal government is listening to the states.

The Trump administration is proposing a major rule that could potentially weaken Endangered Species Act protections.


Courtesy UW News Service

The University of Wyoming played host to Keio University Professor Dr. Toshi Nakayama on Wednesday. He is a noted author and columnist on international relations and he spoke about how Japan is adapting to Trump’s America on the world stage. He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Over the past decade, the market for Mountain West coal has cooled. Renewables and natural gas in the U.S. are cheaper, stocks are tumbling and some coal companies are even teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Liz Cheney
facebook.com/pg/replizcheney/

President Trump’s unexpected reshuffling of his cabinet has also brought with it an unexpected debate over what critics say amounted to torture in the Bush-Cheney administration. 

Senator Mike Enzi (R)
Senator Mike Enzi (R)

  

Wyoming lawmakers have mixed reactions to the sweeping federal budget proposal President Trump released this week.

Donald Trump may be President, but Wyoming’s Mike Enzi chairs the Senate Budget Committee and according to the Constitution that gives Enzi a tad more power in the budget debate than any occupants of the Oval Office. Enzi thanks the president for his proposal. 

"I thought it was a good list of suggestions.”  

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The Trump administration released its infrastructure plan and proposed budget for 2019. One conservation organization believes it will have brutal impacts on national parks.

President Trump and Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke’s, proposed budget requests a 16 percent cut from the Department of Interior’s 2018 budget. It also prioritizes energy and mineral development on public lands, cuts that Zinke calls unnecessary or duplicated programs, and has language detailing requirements for selling off public lands.

U.S. Capitol Building
Public Domain

Now that the government’s lights are turned back on after last weekend’s three-day shutdown, Wyoming’s lawmakers are joining a growing chorus of Republicans calling for a change to how Congress conducts its day to day business.

The High Plains wind farm, near McFadden, Wyoming.
Leigh Paterson

  

The debate over tax reform has finally come to an end. Congress has passed its bill, and the President has signed it. But what’s it all mean for western energy?

Renewable Energy Threat Removed

Zach Frailey/Uprooted Photographer

What actually is clean coal? Depends on who you ask. In Wyoming, a state that produces the most coal in the nation, clean coal is looked at as a possible economic savior.  It’s a big deal for a lot of other people, too. Forty percent of the world still depends on coal for electricity, and it’s still one of the cheapest and most abundant fuels. Clean coal could be the holy grail both for coal producers and for the world.

CC BY-SA 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

President Donald Trump told voters he would come to Washington and shake things up, which he surely has but not in the way many people expected. He spent much of last year frustrated that he couldn’t get much of his agenda through Congress. But he did have success unwinding regulations, especially many in the oil and gas industry. While riding the subway under the Capitol Wyoming Senator John Barrasso explains that in the New Year he’s hoping to revive a bipartisan energy bill that lawmakers have failed to get both chambers to agree on.   

Bureau of Land Management; https://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%85%D9%84%D9%81:Coal_mine_Wyoming.jpg

Wyoming voted for President Trump at a higher percentage than any other state, in part because the President promised a new era of energy dominance. After declining employment numbers in fossil fuel industries, increasing environmental regulations and coal company bankruptcies, many were ready to see a change. So, what has changed in the President’s first year?

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead licensed under CC BY 3.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

The Las Vegas Strip Shooting this week is being described as the worst mass shooting in modern history. Gillette resident Clint Burton was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival taking photos for his website Backstage Music Magazine when he was injured in the shooting.

His son, twenty-year-old Bayelee Burton was also at the concert. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Bayelee after he and his family returned to Wyoming.

EPA

  

Since January, President Trump has ordered systematic rollbacks of Obama-era environmental regulations. He’s voiced an intent to focus on energy development and jobs over environmental regulation.

Many of these rules were crafted by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency under Gina McCarthy. She was EPA Administrator during his second term. They focused on taking strong steps against climate change. McCarthy recently visited Wyoming and gave her reaction to these drastic changes.

 

Earthjustice

The Obama-era “Fracking Rule" that would increase safety and transparency regulations for oil and gas companies is back on the table. A federal appeals court vacated a 2015 decision that stopped the fracking rule, citing government overreach and costliness.

Sage Grouse Implementation Team meeting, 09/15/17
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

The sage grouse implementation team met for the first time since the Department of Interior announced recommendations to a collaborative state and federal Obama era plan. But early last month, DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended changes to the plan that would loosen restrictions on energy development while giving states more flexibility in implementing their own sage grouse protection plans.

Wyoming’s lawmakers just returned to Washington after a summer break that President Trump urged the Senate to cut short to take up more of his agenda. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on what Wyoming lawmakers think they can accomplish this fall.

  

 

Around this point in Barack Obama’s first term the Senate had received more than four hundred and fifty nominees from the White House.  Donald Trump has sent just over two hundred nominees to the Senate – less than half as many. That frustrates Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress, including Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

West Virginia wants to use federal dollars to subsidize Appalachian coal. Some think that’s picking favorites — not just over natural gas and renewables, but over other coal states. 

Don Gonyea

  

As we all know, the Donald Trump administration has been unique. One of those tasked with following the President is NPR Political Correspondent Don Gonyea.

After beginning his career based in Detroit, Gonyea came to Washington to cover the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Gonyea came to Jackson this week to talk about covering this administration. He told Bob Beck that President Trump’s behavior is not all that surprising. 

Public Domain

President Trump desperately wants a major legislative victory, which is why he held a Rose Garden ceremony with House Republicans after only their chamber passed an overhaul of Obamacare – a bill he later told Republican senators was “mean.”

But Trump and his agenda remain bogged down by the Russian investigation and he keeps distracting Congress with tweets that Republican leaders have tried to get him to stop sending out. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney says Trump needs to rise above.

Dhtrible at the English language Wikipedia

Jackson town officials have been deluged with angry emails and phone calls after the mayor decided to remove portraits of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from town hall last week. The flap has garnered national media attention and gone viral on social media. Town Councilman and Vice Mayor Jim Stanford says he’s sorry for the fallout, which includes visitors saying they will cancel trips to Jackson.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

pixabay

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.

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