2021 In the News


Wyoming News Now reported that U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney introduced a bill called the PILLR (Payment in Lieu of Lost Revenues) Act. The bill -- that outlines money given to energy states, based on a 10-year average rate that would help support and recover lost revenue with federal funds -- was drafted with the assistance of Tim Considine, a UW School of Energy Resources (SER) professor. MSN Money carried the Wyoming News Now story.

The U.S. Department of Energy will award $644,000 to UW’s SER to study the economic impacts of the fossil fuel industry and the need for clean hydrogen technologies. The CS-T reported on the award last week in an article titled “State, federal leaders seek common ground on coal.”

High Country News interviewed Scott Quillinan, senior director of research in UW’s SER, for an article focusing on a proposed nuclear power plant in Kemmerer.

Bitcoin Magazine noted that UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) would host a virtual bitcoin mining town-hall discussion Nov. 30. The topics expected to be covered included the state of U.S. mining, benefits of mining in Wyoming, deregulation of energy zones and more competitive pricing for on-grid energy.

Researchers from SER’s Center for Economic Geology Research at UW recently deployed a series of microseismic sensors as part of the ongoing baseline monitoring operations for the Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project. Approximately 150 sensors were added at the Dry Fork Station, according to Basin Electric Power Cooperative.


A UW student team won $100,000 for a carbon soil monitoring project in the Carbon Removal Student Competition. The competition is part of a $100 million initiative by XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation intended to advance carbon removal technology, according to The CS-T.

Wyoming Public Radio interviewed Lon Whitman, acting director of UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, about a recent carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (EOR) report that touts the emerging industry’s resiliency and opportunities for growth, and what that means for Wyoming. The Advanced Resources International report provides updates on EOR and CO2 supplies for CO2 EOR projects for the end of the year 2020. Wyoming currently has six CO2 EOR projects.

The CS-T interviewed Holly Krutka, Charles Nye and Scott Quillinan, all from the UW School of Energy Resources, for an article titled “Carbon capture may not be coal’s savior. But it could spawn an industry all its own.” Lon Whitman, acting director of UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, also was quoted.

The Laramie Boomerang, WyoToday Media, SweetwaterNOW and Laramie Live published UW’s release noting that a UW student team won a $100,000 prize in the Carbon Removal Student Competition funded by XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation. The competition was launched, in part, to fund early-stage concepts from the next generation of carbon removal innovators and to remove barriers to entry for those interested in the main competition. Philanthropy News DigestThe Gillette News RecordNebraska Rural Radio NetworkFinancial Post and IT News Online published similar articles.

Two UW research teams are Phase 1 semifinalists of the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize, a $4 million competition. ThinkGeoEnergy published UW’s release noting that the competition is designed to advance technologies and techniques to support direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines.

SweetwaterNOW published UW’s release noting that the School of Energy Resources (SER) will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as a subawardee in a collaborative grant proposal with Baker Hughes Energy Transition LLC to develop innovative solutions and uses for coal waste.

Forbes mentioned the UW School of Energy Resources’ (SER) two grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for projects in the Powder River Basin, and in the Greater Green River and Wind River basins. UW scientists are researching rare earth elements resources that lie in coal and coal ash.

Construction on the new Wyoming Innovation Center in Campbell County is underway, according to a Wyoming Business Report article published by Coal Zoom. Holly Krutka, UW School of Energy Resources executive director, said the school will use the facility, which will develop advanced carbon products using coal and coal byproducts as the primary raw material. The center is intended to accelerate research from lab level to pre-commercialization.


Wyoming News Now published UW’s release noting that Associate Professor Haibo Zhai and doctoral student Zitao Wu are researching potential water impacts of bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration. Bioenergy Insight and Industry & Energy published related articles.


The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported that Davin Bagdonas, an associate research scientist in UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER), was among speakers for the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado 2021 Economic Development Summit. He discussed SER’s two U.S. Department of Energy grants that are exploring nonfuel uses for coal to aid regional economies.

H2 View, a leading global hydrogen publication, reported that representatives of SER and The Williams Cos. recently met to discuss new energy ventures for Wyoming, specifically in hydrogen and carbon capture, as part of a new collaboration to help the state’s energy sector. Oil City News published UW’s announcement.

UW’s School of Energy Resources is hosting a “Pathways to Net-Zero” workshop in Sheridan today (Tuesday). The Sheridan Press reported that community leaders will lead the discussion on exploring goals, needs and concerns in achieving a net-zero energy mix.


A proposed nuclear reactor in Wyoming was the focus of a recent WyoFile article. The story noted that UW does not have a nuclear energy program, but the university’s School of Energy Resources could facilitate the training necessary to develop workforces for constructing and operating the facility.

UW Professor Tim Considine’s study that estimated the economic loss from President Joe Biden’s pause on oil and gas permits was cited in a WyoFile story. The article noted the number of rotary rigs drilling in Wyoming has tripled since the president’s leasing pause.

UW’s School of Energy Resources will offer a new minor in energy resource management this fall, according to a university media release published by Wyoming News Now. The new minor will allow more undergraduate students to gain access to specialized energy instruction to supplement and enhance their education.

A UW economics study on President Joe Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands was cited in a Salt Lake Tribune article, titled “Utah’s oil and gas industry is as busy now as it was during Trump’s ‘energy dominance’ era.”

UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute has published a StoryMap that highlights the state’s leadership in carbon capture, utilization and storage in order to meet midcentury net-negative carbon dioxide emissions goals. The Rocket Miner published UW’s announcement.

UW chemistry Professor Bruce Parkinson discussed with The Casper Star-Tribune (CS-T) Wyoming’s burgeoning wind energy sector and how solar energy can complement wind in producing power.

The Gillette News Record announced that the public will have a chance Tuesday to learn more about the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project at Dry Fork Station in Campbell County. UW’s School of Energy Resources, along with Basin Electric Power Cooperative, will host the public outreach program.


Three proposed hydrogen pilot projects have been chosen as finalists for grant funding by the Wyoming Energy Authority. The CS-T noted that a Tulsa, Okla.-based company is set to receive the bulk of the grant money -- nearly $1 million -- for a hydrogen feasibility study in partnership with UW. The study could inform development of a hydrogen and synthetic natural gas hub in Wyoming later this decade.

UW’s partnership in the Wyoming Innovation Center, which recently broke ground on its carbon research incubator in Campbell County, was mentioned in an article republished by The Sheridan Press, titled “Effort on at all levels to transform Powder River Basin into nation’s Carbon Valley.”

The UW School of Energy Resources’ Center for Economic Geology Research will host a public outreach meeting at the Integrated Test Center at Dry Fork Station in Gillette next month. Laramie Live published UW’s release about the Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project.


Mother Jones magazine published a HuffPost article in which UW economics Professor Tim Considine’s study that claimed a drilling ban would result in massive job losses in states such as Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico was mentioned. The article, titled “Biden’s Climate Plans Are Colliding With Trump’s Judiciary,” focused on a federal judge’s ruling against President Joe Biden’s administration’s pause on new oil and gas leases.

KX News, in Bismarck, N.D., noted that UW’s School of Energy Resources is assisting to commercialize and deploy a carbon capture and storage project in Campbell County. The television station produced a segment, titled “How Wyoming’s success in carbon capture matters to North Dakota.”

The Gillette News Record noted that the new Wyoming Innovation Center for companies in Gillette will test technologies on a large scale. UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) will be a tenant, testing technologies to make products such as construction materials out of coal, as well as extracting rare-earth elements from coal fly ash and coal seams. The Construction Index published a similar article, and SER Executive Director Holly Krutka spoke with Wyoming Public Radio about the new facility.

Scott Quillinan, the director of UW’s Center for Economic Geology Research, was interviewed for an article, republished by Slate, titled “Toxic Coal Waste Could Be the Key to Our Clean Energy Future. Seriously.”

Wyoming’s coal industry was dealt another blow when G7 countries, in an effort to stem the effects of climate change, agreed to stop government-sponsored funding for coal power projects that emit carbon by the end of 2021. The County 17 article mentioned that UW is studying the feasibility of carbon capture and storage through the CarbonSAFE project at the Dry Fork Station power plant in Gillette.


Wyoming Public Radio interviewed Jonathan Naughton, director of the Wind Energy Research Center at UW, for a segment on how Wyoming communities are handling conflicts over wind development.

WyoFile included UW’s School of Energy Resources as receiving federal grants that will aid Wyoming with carbon capture research.

Sheridan Media published UW’s release announcing that School of Energy Resources Professor Tara Righetti received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research related to changes caused by shifts away from fossil fuels. She will conduct the research in France. The Boomerang published a similar article.

UW will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for research focused on expanding and transforming the use of coal to produce coal-based products using carbon ore, rare earth elements and critical minerals. Oil City News and County 10 published UW’s release. Green Car CongressWorld Coal and Electric Energy Online published similar articles.

Natural Gas Intelligence cited a study from UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute that shows abandoned and unplugged oil and gas wells in Wyoming may be responsible for no more than 1 percent of reported methane emissions from the state’s oil and gas operations.

The CS-T reported that UW is researching how to make storing millions of tons of carbon dioxide per year underground both commercially and environmentally feasible. The UW School of Energy Resources has developed a program that will use Class VI injection wells in an upcoming phase.

Eli Bebout and Mike Greear, both with legislative experience, were named to the Enhanced Oil Recovery Commission. County 10 and Laramie Live published UW’s announcement.


Proactive noted that UW’s School of Energy Resources is using Clean Coal Technologies’ latest technological advances in a facility in Campbell County. The company is developing the world’s first commercially viable and scalable coal dehydration technology that creates stable, dust-free coal.

Scott Quillinan, director of research and communications at the UW School of Energy Resources, was interviewed for a Wyoming PBS segment to discuss the university’s rare earth element research program. The program was created to stimulate research and development in rare earth element production and processing, and for the potential economic benefits to Wyoming.

Sheridan Media noted that UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute has completed a study of methane emissions from abandoned wells.

Mining.com reported that UW researchers are developing safe and secure geologic carbon dioxide storage in Campbell County. The process should eventually lead to the commercialization of large-scale subsurface storage near the Dry Fork Station.


A study, titled “Social License for Wyoming’s Energy Future: What Do Residents Want?,” by Jessica Western, a research scientist at UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, was the focus of a Laramie Boomerang article.

In his “State of the State” address, Gov. Mark Gordon touted the Wyoming Innovation Network (WIN), a collaboration between the state’s community colleges and UW, according to Oil City News. While in its early stages, WIN will help strengthen the state’s workforce and promote economic growth. The Casper Star-Tribune (CS-T), The Gillette News Record, SweetwaterNOW and  also published related reports pertaining to UW in the governor’s annual address.

Cowboy State Daily, Laramie Live and Sheridan Media were among media outlets publishing UW’s release citing the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute’s report indicating that Wyoming could lose $12.9 billion in tax revenue if the energy moratorium implemented by President Joe Biden is not lifted in a timely manner.


USA Today interviewed Jonathan Naughton, director of UW’s Wind Energy Research Center, for an article on critics who blamed the renewable energy industry for blackouts caused by last week’s cold snap in Texas. Iced-over wind turbines in Texas are to be expected because they are not built to withstand freezing temperatures in that state, according to experts, including Naughton.

Sheridan Media and KGAB Radio published UW’s release noting the Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair will continue under the leadership of the university’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute.

President Joe Biden’s orders to halt federal oil and natural gas leases and permitting has energy-producing states and industries, such as Wyoming, scrambling to respond. That was the topic of a UW School of Energy Resources panel discussion last week, according to The Gillette News Record. The Casper Star-Tribune published a similar article.

A UW study, which forecast that a federal leasing moratorium could cost Wyoming governments $300 million a year, was cited in a National Public Radio piece focusing on Biden’s nationwide 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits. UW economist Rob Godby was quoted in Inside Sources on a related article.

A recent UW study shows how President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits will affect Wyoming’s economy. According to a Wyoming Tribune Eagle article, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said the ban also would defund Wyoming’s public schools that rely on those tax dollars. National Public RadioBloomberg LawThe CS-TDenver Business Journal and Energy in Depth published related articles citing the UW study.


The CS-T reported that UW faculty members Tara Righetti and Kris Koski recently published a comparative study on carbon dioxide use and storage technologies across the country. They collaborated with West Virginia University researchers and the United States Energy Association to prepare the study for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Sheridan County Commission granted UW’s School of Energy Resources an application for a carbon ore, rare earth element and critical minerals project in the Powder River Basin, reported Sheridan Media.

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