This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.
Like most all things here in Washington these days, the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the EPA is being read along party lines. But Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says it’s not just partisanship. He says your opinion also hinges on where you’re reading.
As energy development increases across the country many states are starting to look into whether or not it would be a good idea to set up data bases to track possible health impacts directly attributed to energy development. Colorado has developed an extensive system within its Department of Health to track and investigate health care impacts. The State of Wyoming has not developed such a data base. Doctor Tracy Murphy is the state epidemiologist. He says the Department of Health rare fields calls of that nature.
Wyoming ranks 16th in the nation when it comes to meeting the long term health care needs of older residents. The ranking comes from a comprehensive state by state scorecard developed by AARP, the Commonwealth fund, and SCAN foundation.
In Wyoming unpaid family caregivers provide the bulk of care for older Wyoming residents, in part because long term care is unaffordable for most middle income families. AARP Wyoming’s Associate Director Tim Lockwood says things aren’t all that bad in the state, but they could be better.
Yellowstone Park is celebrating completion of a two year, 29 million dollar renovation of its oldest lodge: Lake Hotel. Now all of the Lake Hotel’s redecorated rooms are ready for guest now. Penny Preston reports people worked through two bitter winters to complete the project.
In 1889, 27 years before there was a National Park Service, construction began on Lake Hotel. It is Yellowstone’s oldest. Two years ago, reconstruction started.
“The old hotel had been touched pretty harshly over the years.
My name is David Shelles and I live here in Cheyenne, Wyoming. When I moved from Davenport, Iowa to Laramie, Wyoming in December of 2008, of course I had the privilege of driving Interstate 80 across Iowa and Nebraska. On the second day of my trip, I crossed the border from Nebraska into Wyoming at Pinebluffs and of course I started messing with the radio and it stopped on 91.9 and I heard Pat Gabriel's voice and that's actually kind of when I knew I was back home.
Loon populations in Wyoming have dropped to only 14 pairs and are the rarest nesting bird in the state, according to an initiative by the Biodiversity Research Institute based in Gorham, Maine.
The birds nest mainly in the northwest parts of Wyoming. Executive Director David Evers says loons need large lakes with islands for safe nesting. The initiative—known as “Restore the Call”—will use several innovative strategies to help loons feel less threatened. One way is nesting rafts.
If you think having candidates stopping by your home can get annoying, Wyoming U-S Representative Cynthia Lummis feels your pain. Following the primary election loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Lummis is being bombarded by those interested in that job and other leadership jobs that may come free after Cantor's replacement is chosen. Lummis told Bob Beck that the internal campaigning is something to watch.
Returning from military service back into so called normal society continues to be a challenge for many veterans. It doesn’t help if they have difficulty getting Veterans Administration Services. In Wyoming, the two VA hospitals have been criticized for the amount of time veterans need to wait to get care. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that social service providers say they are trying to provide adequate services to a growing population of vets.
Rogers Canyon north of Laramie has long been a favorite destination for cyclists. But also for off-road vehicle riders, gun enthusiasts and people with a trunk full of garbage unwilling to pay the dump fee. Conflicts between the groups have been mounting, and the Bureau of Land Management wants to set new guidelines to make the area safer and cleaner.
The Rogers Canyon Coalition is working with the BLM to find a solution. Coalition member Teri Lund says they’ve come up with a few ideas.
Nearly 1 in 5 Wyoming high school students drop out every year. Today, we take a look at a program that aims to find dropouts and get them back on track before it’s too late. And as Aaron Schrank reports, it’s run not by the state’s Education Department, but it’s Military Department.
SCHRANK: When Francisco Jovel dropped out of Pinedale High School last year, he was three years behind on class credits. He’d been in and out of the Wyoming Boys’ School in Worland for breaking and entering and theft. He was running out of options.
This week the EPA unveiled a new rule to drastically cut carbon emissions from the nation's power plants. While Wyoming Republicans say it will devastate the economy, Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some experts say their outdated thinking has set the state back in the new energy economy.
The White House isn't waiting around for this Congress to help it tackle climate change. The new EPA rule will require Wyoming to slash it's carbon emissions by 19 percent. Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis says the state's energy producers are worried.
It didn't take long after the Obama administration unveiled new rules this week regulating carbon emissions from power plants for people to start naming winners and losers. Wyoming, the nation’s largest coal-producing state, and a huge coal consumer, was immediately billed as a loser.
When four 8th graders at Wheatland Middle School were asked to put their heads together to solve a real problem in their community, they thought back to the biggest crisis in recent memory—the quarter-mile-wide twister that touched down near their town in 2012. Jacob Stafford, Joey Madsen, Haiden Moody and Christian Moody remember the day the tornado very hit well. And it made an impression them, because it was just miles from their school.
My name is Gretchen Wheeler, this is Casper Wyoming. I probably really became addicted about four years ago. I listen to it every single morning coming to work and every single evening going home. I just love the special interest stories that they have on it, I love the little tidbits.
The Obama administration said Monday that it intends to aggressively reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, or greenhouse gas pollution, produced in the United States. To boost these ambitions, the White House will partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce varying rules state-by-state to be carried out by power plants that produce the gases.
If successfully implemented, the regulations will deliver a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions by 2030.
State Superintendent Cindy Hill says if she is elected governor she will push good government measures to make it easier for the public to get documents, she also plans to address conflicts of interest that she sees in government.
Hill will run as a Republican. She said that she got into the race because she said Governor Matt Mead exceeded his authority of governor when he signed the law that removed her as the head of the Department of Education.
The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and on June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions. Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own.
After some legal wrangling, State Superintendent Cindy Hill is back in charge of Wyoming Education. As the school year wraps up, Superintendent Hill joins us to discuss a number of topics. The first deals with distance…or online education. She recently attended a graduation of students who graduated from a virtual school. Hill embraces various uses of technology in the classroom.
The Obama administration wants states to cutback on carbon emissions, but doing that has always been a thorny problem. While carbon is a byproduct of almost everything we do, capturing and storing it is expensive. For years, the goal has been to figure out how to make that process cheaper, but more recent efforts take a different approach, with the focus shifting from storing carbon to using it.
On a recent spring morning, Karen Wawrousek led a tour of her lab at the Western Research Institute, on the outskirts of Laramie.
In the next half century, scientists are predicting more extreme weather for Wyoming with bigger winter storms and hotter, dryer summers. That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment out this month. Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers are skeptical about climate change, but some of them have been forced to adjust their methods of production.
Sixty years ago a group of women in Casper whose husbands were always leaving them for long shifts out on the oil patch got together to commiserate and lunch. The group became known as the Geowives - wives of geologists - and it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary this spring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended the Geowives’ monthly luncheon and has this story.
IRINA ZHOROV: Bette Faust is one of the charter members of the Geowives, and a Wyoming native who came to Casper in the 1950s.
The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.
The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.
As the Oil City Casper has seen its fate is closely tied with the energy industry and the recent boom in production is seeing Casper's population expand at an astounding rate. One thing not expanding fast enough however is affordable housing. Wyoming Public Radio's Jordan Giese reports.
JORDAN GIESE: Despite new commercial development one thing in Casper you'll struggle to find are for-sale and rent signs. With all the new energy work, people have poured into Casper, sometimes leaving little for the residents already there.