A project that proposes setting fire to deep coal seams in order to produce fuel is moving forward. At a hearing last week, the Environmental Quality Council rejected arguments that Linc Energy’s proposed underground coal gasification project would contaminate drinking water supplies in Campbell County. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, concerns linger about the safety of the technology.
A project that seeks to use Wyoming coal that’s buried too deep underground for conventional mining is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Department of Environmental Quality has put Linc Energy’s proposed underground coal gasification project up for public review. The process involves drilling thousands of feet below the surface into deep coal seams, and then igniting them, and capturing the gases that are produced. Those can then be converted into synthetic natural gas, chemicals like ammonia or fertilizer, or liquid fuels.