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U.S. Representative Liz Cheney Visits School of Energy Resources

February 22, 2022
scott quillinan and rep. cheney looking at core sample
Rep. Cheney examines a piece of core sample from the Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project test well alongside SER Dir. of Research Scott Quillinan

The University of Wyoming (UW) School of Energy Resources (SER) was privileged to host Congresswoman Liz Cheney on a visit to campus last Wednesday. Cheney is Wyoming’s sole representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Cheney’s visit to SER comes at a time when energy is at the forefront of discussions surrounding the new federal infrastructure bill, including opportunities and impacts for Wyoming. 

While on campus, Rep. Cheney met with SER executive director Holly Krutka, and SER senior director of research, Scott Quillinan to discuss the groundbreaking research being conducted at SER, in particular the work in SER’s Centers of Excellence. 

“Given her focus on Wyoming’s energy sector, we were honored to have Representative Cheney visit the School of Energy Resources,” says Krutka. “As SER is focused on the state, we are grateful to give lawmakers a first-hand opportunity to learn about the people and facilities leading Wyoming-focused research. In addition to our established research centers, we have been expanding our research areas to include hydrogen energy and nuclear, and this was an important opportunity to showcase some of those efforts and achievements.”  

Following the discussion, Rep. Cheney visited the various labs within the Energy Innovation Center (EIC), where she was able to converse with SER research scientists on work being conducted in some of SER’s flagship projects.

While meeting with scientists in the Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR), Cheney examined core samples extracted from the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project test wells, which are the first wells in the state to be drilled and completed to class VI permitting standards (which is required for CO2 injection). The project seeks to advance carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) deployment. 

She also spoke with researchers conducting the Carbon Ore, Rare Earth and Critical Mineral (CORE-CM) projects which look to the feasibility of U.S. coal basins as a potential source for recovering rare earth elements, and promoting regional economic growth.

“Representative Cheney was able to hold a piece of geologic core sample taken from 10,000 ft below the ground and speak directly with our team that is advancing the science with respect to carbon capture and storage,” says Quillinan. “Seeing the congresswoman engage with the researchers – asking questions and exploring samples – is invaluable.”

Before concluding her tour of the facility with a brief stop in the Shell 3D Visualization Center, Rep. Cheney was able to observe sample commodity products engineered from Wyoming coal in the Center for Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCCC), including char bricks being used to construct a demonstration building on campus. 

“It was a pleasure to tour the School of Energy Resources and hear about the groundbreaking work they are doing to support Wyoming’s crucial energy industry,” says Cheney. “Thank you to Directors Krutka and Quillinan and everyone at the SER for their efforts to pioneer new energy technologies, and access and develop more of our resources. I look forward to continuing to work with the SER to support and advance Wyoming energy.” 

SER is dedicated to serving the state of Wyoming through energy-driven economic development. It collaborates with stakeholders at the state, national, and international levels to advance energy technologies and policies to grow and support Wyoming’s robust energy sector. 

“Through the dedication of our research team and collaborators at UW and beyond, SER has made some exciting advancements of late,” adds Krutka. “We are grateful that Representative Cheney took the time to come and see what we have accomplished. SER looks forward to continuing to support Wyoming’s federal delegation, elected and appointed officials across the state, and industry to fight for Wyoming’s energy future.”

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