Natural Resources/Energy Reporting Initiative http://wyomingpublicradio.net en Sinclair Refinery Is Fined Again http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/sinclair-refinery-fined-again <p>The Sinclair Refinery is being cited with seven safety violations and over 200-thousand dollars in fines for an explosion and fire at its refinery near Rawlins last fall.&nbsp;</p><p>Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA says that two of the violations were willful.&nbsp; The company has been fined numerous times in the past for a variety of fires, explosions, and other issues.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:59:32 +0000 Bob Beck 56938 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Sinclair Refinery Is Fined Again Setback Rule Review A Priority For Oil And Gas Commission http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/setback-rule-review-priority-oil-and-gas-commission <p>Interim Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says he's making it a priority to review Wyoming's setback rules.</p><p>Setback rules govern how close oil and gas development can be to things like houses and streams. The current limit is 350 feet.</p><p>At an Oil and Gas Commission meeting Tuesday night in Casper, several residents said they'd like to see the distance raised to a mile, because of concerns about potential health impacts of energy production. Watson says they're asking a lot.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:02:31 +0000 Willow Belden 56901 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Setback Rule Review A Priority For Oil And Gas Commission Linc Energy Charged With Causing Environmental Harm In Australia http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/linc-energy-charged-causing-environmental-harm-australia <p>A company proposing to open an underground coal gasification demonstration site in Wright has been charged with environmental violations in Australia. &nbsp;The charges could cost the company over two million dollars per violation.</p><p>Underground coal gasification involves igniting coal seams deep underground to produce syngas, which can then be processed into various liquid fuels or other chemicals. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>What exactly the environmental harm is has not yet been revealed.</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:37:32 +0000 Irina Zhorov 56828 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Linc Energy Charged With Causing Environmental Harm In Australia First U.S. Rare Earth Minerals Mine In Decades Could Be In Wyoming http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/first-us-rare-earth-minerals-mine-decades-could-be-wyoming <p>The first rare earth minerals mine to open in the U.S. in decades could be here in Wyoming. Permitting gets underway this week for the Bear Lodge mine, near Sundance. Rare earths are a group of metals that are critical to high tech devices like smartphones and lasers. They’re currently mined almost exclusively in China. Rare Element Resources’ George Byers says the company is hoping to change that.</p> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 00:23:58 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56719 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net First U.S. Rare Earth Minerals Mine In Decades Could Be In Wyoming Rare Earth Mine Permitting Gets Underway http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/rare-earth-mine-permitting-gets-underway <p>They’ve been called the secret ingredient of everything. Rare earths are a group of elements that make much of today’s technology possible, from smartphones to wind turbines to precision-guided missiles. For decades, China has dominated the rare earth market, but amid questions about the wisdom of allowing one country to control the supply chain, a mining project in Wyoming is getting underway. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, if the mine opens, it would be only be the second one in the United States and the first new one in decades.<br /> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:21:32 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56714 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Rare Earth Mine Permitting Gets Underway Pinedale Air Improves As State Toughens Industry Regs http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/pinedale-air-improves-state-toughens-industry-regs <p></p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:10:36 +0000 Willow Belden 56713 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Pinedale Air Improves As State Toughens Industry Regs Frac Sand Poses Potential Health Problem For Workers http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/frac-sand-poses-potential-health-problem-workers <p>It’s been called miner's phthisis, grinder's asthma, potter's rot. Silicosis is a disease of the lungs that’s caused by inhaling tiny particles of crystalline silica dust, basically sand. Those particles cut the lung tissue, causing inflammation and scarring that make it difficult to breathe.</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:04:52 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56712 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Frac Sand Poses Potential Health Problem For Workers Groups Disagree On Implications Of New Federal Energy Production Data http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/groups-disagree-implications-new-federal-energy-production-data <p>Recently released <a href="http://statistics.onrr.gov/Default.aspx">data </a>compiled by the federal government shows oil production on federal lands is up from last year, while natural gas production is down.&nbsp;Overall, the energy sector is booming, but industry analysts say companies are shifting from natural gas to wetter plays because of low natural gas prices. But even though production is up, some industry groups point out that it's increasing more quickly on private lands and blame the trend on slow permitting by the federal government.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:38:23 +0000 Irina Zhorov 56651 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Groups Disagree On Implications Of New Federal Energy Production Data Task Force On Forests Makes Progress http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/task-force-forests-makes-progress <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A group tasked with making recommendations about forest policy in Wyoming is meeting this week in Saratoga.</span></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:59:36 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56485 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Task Force On Forests Makes Progress Orphaned Well Meeting Draws Crowd http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/orphaned-well-meeting-draws-crowd <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The state held its first-ever public meeting about the issue of orphaned and idle gas wells Wednesday in Gillette.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 23:58:13 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56318 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Orphaned Well Meeting Draws Crowd Oil And Gas Producer Fined For Late Production Reports http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/oil-and-gas-producer-fined-late-production-reports <p>The federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue, or ONRR, has fined a Wyoming oil and gas producer $204,362 for not submitting timely production reports for its federal leases. Matrix Production Company was issued two notices of noncompliance before ONRR levied the penalties. ONRR spokesman, Patrick Etchart, says the production reports are used to keep companies in check.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:17:36 +0000 Irina Zhorov 56227 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Oil And Gas Producer Fined For Late Production Reports Wyoming Oil And Gas Supervisor Resigns http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/wyoming-oil-and-gas-supervisor-resigns-0 <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">After less than a year on the job, Wyoming’s oil and gas supervisor is resigning, effective Tuesday. Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Chair Bridget Hill declined to comment on Grant Black’s sudden resignation other than to say the Commission accepted it unanimously and thanked him for his service. Black didn’t return a call for comment.</span></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:53:26 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56136 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Wyoming Oil And Gas Supervisor Resigns Encana Sells Wyoming Natural Gas Field http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/encana-sells-wyoming-natural-gas-field <p></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:15:46 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 56130 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Encana Sells Wyoming Natural Gas Field UW Students And Gov. Mead Learn About Coal Technologies in Australia http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/uw-students-and-gov-mead-learn-about-coal-technologies-australia <p>Governor Matt Mead recently attended an Advanced Coal Technology Conference in Australia.&nbsp; Eight students from the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources joined him.</p><p>Graduate student Mary Kate McCarney is a geochemist who attended the coal conference.&nbsp; She said she appreciated the fact that students were included in the conversation at the conference.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:02:19 +0000 Melodie Edwards 56103 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net UW Students And Gov. Mead Learn About Coal Technologies in Australia Barrasso Wants To Use Wyo. Gas As Weapon Against Russia http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/barrasso-wants-use-wyo-gas-weapon-against-russia <p>Lawmakers in Washington are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe. Our D-C reporter &nbsp;Matt Laslo has a look at what that could mean for Wyoming’s economy – and environment.</p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 20:25:06 +0000 Matt Laslo 56056 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Barrasso Wants To Use Wyo. Gas As Weapon Against Russia Wright Residents Wary Of Proposed Coal Gasification Project http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/wright-residents-wary-proposed-coal-gasification-project <p>It was standing room only at the Wright Public Library last night as residents packed into a hearing about a nearby project that would burn coal seams underground to produce synthesis gas or syngas.</p><p>Linc Energy’s proposed underground coal gasification project has been in the works for years, but from the public testimony, many Wright residents were hearing about it for the first time. And they had lots of questions about the process, which has never been developed commercially.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:40:25 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 55956 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Wright Residents Wary Of Proposed Coal Gasification Project Legislators Halt Consideration Of Controversial Science Standards http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/legislators-halt-consideration-controversial-science-standards-0 <p>Right before the close of the session, the Wyoming Legislature slipped a small amendment into the budget bill that’s proving to have some big implications.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:33:19 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 55690 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Legislators Halt Consideration Of Controversial Science Standards Wyoming Looks To Do More Than Transport Minerals http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/wyoming-looks-do-more-transport-minerals <p>Governor Matt Mead and a handful of Wyoming legislators are excited about an idea that they hope will create more jobs in the state and finally do something locally with the minerals and other sources of energy that the state harvests.&nbsp; Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:23:17 +0000 Bob Beck 55688 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Wyoming Looks To Do More Than Transport Minerals DEQ Drafts Rules To Limit Emissions Near Pinedale http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/deq-drafts-rules-limit-emissions-near-pinedale <p>Energy companies operating near Pinedale will soon have to retrofit their older equipment to curb emissions.</p><p></p><p>Natural gas development in the Pinedale Anticline gas field has caused air pollution, to the extent that the area violates federal air quality standards. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has already imposed limits on emissions from new equipment. But until now, older equipment that was already in place was exempt from those standards. DEQ Air Quality Administrator Steve Dietrich says that needs to change.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:03:25 +0000 Willow Belden 55632 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net DEQ Drafts Rules To Limit Emissions Near Pinedale Legislators Halt Consideration Of Controversial Science Standards http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/legislators-halt-consideration-controversial-science-standards <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Right before the close of the session, the Wyoming Legislature slipped a small amendment into the budget bill that’s proving to have some big implications. The footnote prohibits the State Board of Education from considering a set of national&nbsp;science&nbsp;education&nbsp;standards&nbsp;that it had been reviewing for more than a year, and as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, it raises questions about whose role it is to establish those&nbsp;standards.</span></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:14:14 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 55603 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Legislators Halt Consideration Of Controversial Science Standards Scientists Launch Campaign To Sway Climate Change Debate http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/scientists-launch-campaign-sway-climate-change-debate <p>The country’s largest scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is launching <a href="http://whatweknow.aaas.org/">a public awaren</a><a href="http://whatweknow.aaas.org/">ess campaign</a> about climate change.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 00:22:59 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 55574 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Scientists Launch Campaign To Sway Climate Change Debate Surge in Crude Oil Production http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/surge-crude-oil-production <p>Wyoming&nbsp;crude oil production is on the upswing.</p><p></p><p>The state&nbsp;produced more crude oil last year than it has in any year since 1999.&nbsp; That's in line with a&nbsp;nationwide trend; last year the country produced more crude oil than it has in any year since&nbsp;1989.</p><p>State geologist Tom Drean says the increase can be&nbsp;attributed to more drilling activity in&nbsp;unconventional plays like shale and&nbsp;tight sands, made possible because of technologies like fracking,&nbsp;and horizontal and extended reach drilling.</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:51:35 +0000 Erin Jones 55311 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Surge in Crude Oil Production Exemptions to Fracking Chemical Disclosure Law To Receive Renewed Scrutiny http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/exemptions-fracking-chemical-disclosure-law-receive-renewed-scrutiny <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Environmental and landowner groups are celebrating after the Wyoming Supreme Court found a lower court had ruled in error regarding disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking.</span></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:49:29 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 55247 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Exemptions to Fracking Chemical Disclosure Law To Receive Renewed Scrutiny Ukraine Crisis Reignites Debate Over Natural Gas Exports http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/ukraine-crisis-reignites-debate-over-natural-gas-exports <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The crisis in Ukraine has rekindled calls for the US to export more of its newfound glut of natural gas overseas, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea.</span></p><p>In recent days a number of Congressmen, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, have called for the Department of Energy to expedite its approval of natural gas export terminals. &nbsp;Barrasso says it would give the US more foreign policy leverage.</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 01:55:10 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54967 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Ukraine Crisis Reignites Debate Over Natural Gas Exports Legislature Passes Grand Teton Land Swap Bill http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/legislature-passes-grand-teton-land-swap-bill <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After&nbsp;considerable&nbsp;discussion, the Wyoming legislature approved a bill that would let the state and the federal government move&nbsp;forward with finalizing&nbsp;a deal to swap state owned land in Grand Teton National Park&nbsp;with&nbsp;the federal government.&nbsp; Some senators&nbsp;expressed&nbsp;concern that the federal mineral land&nbsp;won't match the estimated $100 million value of the state's park land, but Jackson Senator Leland Christensen says the bill was changed&nbsp;to ensure the trade will be fair.</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 01:42:45 +0000 Bob Beck 54966 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Legislature Passes Grand Teton Land Swap Bill President's Budget Calls for Cutting Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/presidents-budget-calls-cutting-fossil-fuel-tax-breaks <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Repealing tax credits for fossil fuel producers and strengthening the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas program are the among the energy proposals in President Obama’s&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" target="_blank">2015 budget.</a></p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 01:22:26 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54916 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net President's Budget Calls for Cutting Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks Rocky Mountain Power Requests Rate Increase http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/rocky-mountain-power-requests-rate-increase <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Rocky Mountain Power is asking regulators for permission to raise rates by an average of 5.3 percent starting in January 2015. That would translate to an extra $4.50 a month for average residential customers. Company spokesman Jeff </span>Hymas<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"> says the rate increase is necessary for a number of reasons, but mostly because of recent infrastructure investments totaling over $2 billion. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 23:44:13 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54912 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Rocky Mountain Power Requests Rate Increase Halliburton Donates $3M To University Of Wyoming http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/halliburton-donates-3m-university-wyoming <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex.&nbsp; Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied&nbsp;towards a 'high bay' research facility.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:45:00 +0000 Bob Beck 54866 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Halliburton Donates $3M To University Of Wyoming Bonding Bill Gets Final Approval In The Wyoming House http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/bonding-bill-gets-final-approval-wyoming-house <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would raise the bond from $2,000 to $10,000 for oil and gas drillers seeking access to privately owned land.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The bond is used to repair damage to surface land when a use agreement can't be reached between the landowner and the energy company. &nbsp;Opponents says that the increase is too high. &nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:58:13 +0000 Bob Beck 54864 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Bonding Bill Gets Final Approval In The Wyoming House Wyoming-Based Environmental Group Disbands http://wyomingpublicradio.net/post/wyoming-based-environmental-group-disbands <p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 11px; line-height: 15px;">One of Wyoming's most outspoken environmental groups is disbanding.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 11px; line-height: 15px;">The board of the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance voted Thursday to call it quits. Board President Ken Driese said Monday the group has been having fundraising difficulties and that four staff members are losing their jobs.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 23:15:13 +0000 Associated Press 54803 at http://wyomingpublicradio.net Wyoming-Based Environmental Group Disbands