2023 SER in the News


The CBS News program “60 Minutes” featured Gov. Mark Gordon, who discussed Wyoming’s innovative approach to combat climate change as part of his “all-of-the-above” energy policy. Holly Krutka, executive director of the UW School of Energy Resources (SER), was included in the segment, detailing SER’s research into carbon capture and storage. To read UW’s release on Krutka’s “60 Minutes” interview, click here.

The Wyoming Energy Authority has recommended that Gordon award UW’s SER $2.75 million for a development project titled “Integration of Produced Water Thermal Desalination and Steam Methane Reforming for Efficient Hydrogen Production.” The recommended award is part of a combined $37.5 million proposal to support six energy projects, including coal-to-hydrogen and carbon capture proposals, according to WyoFile.


UW Associate Professor and SER Adjunct Professor Temple Stoellinger, a Wyoming Excellence Chair, recently was featured on an episode of “Resources Radio,” a weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. She discussed how state trust lands historically have been used; the existing and potential uses of the lands for conservation; the legal and policy barriers to conservation efforts; and additional uses of the lands, including energy development and livestock grazing.

UW’s School of Energy Resources will receive up to $11.2 million in federal support to test deep geologic layers in the south-central portion of the state to determine if they are suitable for carbon dioxide storage. WyoFile noted that the project’s funding from the U.S. Department of Energy is for two years.

EnergyPortal published UW’s release announcing that UW’s Nuclear Energy Research Center has selected faculty members Xiang Zhang and Wes Eaton to receive funding under the Faculty Scholars Program. The program, supported by a grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s University Nuclear Leadership Program and funds from the Wyoming Legislature, focuses on developing new areas of nuclear-focused research and supporting the professional growth of junior faculty.

According to a U.S. Department of Energy media release, UW is among nine entities selected for Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Phase II: Storage Complex Feasibility funding. The selected projects will perform technical, economic and community assessments for potential CO2 storage complexes, particularly in regions that currently lack these facilities. UW will conduct a feasibility study to develop a saline CO2 storage hub for industries in the Echo Springs area of south-central Wyoming. County 17 and Oil City News published UW’s release on the announcement.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming has launched the Wyoming Carbon Innovation Network to support the growth of the state’s carbon management industry while ensuring that the existing oil and natural gas industry continues to flourish. Erik Holt, Frontier Carbon Solutions’ general counsel and vice president of land, and Julie Martinez, Oil Mountain Energy president, will co-chair the network. County 17 noted that UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) and Frontier are partnering on the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub project in southwest Wyoming.

Wyo4News noted the dates, times and locations of four interactive public workshops on the Bureau of Land Management’s Rock Springs Resource Management Plan that took place last week. UW’s Ruckelshaus Institute, College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources, and SER, along with the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, organized the meetings. WyoFile posted a related article.

WyoToday Media reported that public meetings are scheduled for the Bureau of Land Management’s Rock Springs Draft Resource Management Plan. UW’s Ruckelshaus Institute, College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources, and School of Energy Resources, along with the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, are organizing the meetings.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, mentioned UW research when he gave remarks at a full committee hearing last week. The hearing examined the opportunities and challenges in deploying carbon capture, utilization and sequestration and direct air capture technologies on federal and nonfederal lands.


Electric Power Supply Association featured Kara Fornstrom, director of the UW School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis, on episode 32 of their podcast. The episode was titeled, "What's Next for Wyoming: How the top COal Producer is Evolving."

Cowboy State Daily included comments from Scott Quillinan, senior director of research in UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER), in an article focusing on the state’s investment of $2.5 million to work with university researchers to help industry officials develop methods to tap into 200 million barrels of oil reserves in the Powder River Basin’s Mowry Shale.

Carbon capture technology and the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station were featured in a recent episode of “Wyoming Chronicle” on Wyoming PBS, according to The Gillette News Record. The ITC is under the administrative umbrella of UW’s SER.

Hydrogen Central, H2 View and County 17 published UW’s release noting that the Wyoming Innovation Partnership has selected UW to receive $693,514 to support a blue hydrogen project. UW faculty and researchers will study issues related to nuclear-powered hydrogen produced from both conventional and renewable gas resources in the state.

WyoFile reported that academics and economic development officials fear that Biden administration “environmental justice” requirements are hurting Wyoming’s ability to compete for billions of dollars in federal clean energy and infrastructure grants. Kara Fornstrom, director of the UW School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis, was interviewed for the article.

In a podcast, Steve Hill, CEO of NewHydrogen Inc., spoke with Eugene Holubnyak, director of UW’s Hydrogen Energy Research Center, about opportunities and challenges of the hydrogen economy. NewHydrogen Inc. is the developer of a breakthrough technology that uses clean energy and water to produce the world’s cheapest green hydrogen. InsiderTracking published the company’s release.


UW College of Law Professor Tara Righetti will discuss carbon capture at Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Liskow Visiting Professor in Energy Law Lecture in November, according to LSU Law. Righetti is the Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policies in UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER).

Wyoming residents want continued leadership and more information regarding energy and expanding energy industries, according to a new study from UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER). SER collaborated with the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources on the study, which is a replication of a 2020 study. County 17 used UW’s release for an article on the study. Oil City News published County 17’s article.

Utah Business reported on UW research for an article titled “The case for reinventing the coal industry.” The article noted that UW researchers recently began testing a coal-derived soil amendment that could allow the soil to retain more water and increase plant growth.

A recent wave of carbon dioxide injection well permits will bring either a boon of low-carbon energy or a diversion from renewable energy efforts, according to WyoFile. The in-depth article noted that one such project -- the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub -- is led by UW’s School of Energy Resources.

An Inside Climate News article reported that ambitious climate action could reap rewards for coal-producing Wyoming, but the state’s economy remains tied to fossil fuels. The article noted that Wyoming leaders are backing carbon capture projects and that UW received the largest of nine federal grants to develop carbon storage hubs across the country. Read UW’s release here.

County 17 reported that UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) and its partner, Frontier Carbon Solutions, as well as BWX Technologies are the recipients of awards through the state’s Energy Matching Funds program. SER and Frontier Carbon Solutions will receive $9.1 million for their Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub, while BWX Technologies will receive nearly $10 million to support a nuclear microreactor effort.

UW’s SER and Low Emission Technology Australia recently signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on research efforts in the advancement of energy technology. EnergyPortal.eu and County 17 published UW’s release.


County 17 published UW’s release announcing that the School of Energy Resources released a resource guide for Wyoming landowners regarding carbon capture and storage. The publication addresses issues associated with the development of carbon capture and storage technology and explains options for leasing pore space.

A project to develop more efficient hydrogen production led by UW’s Hydrogen Energy Research Center has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Among those publishing UW’s release were the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Hydrogen View.

Three UW research proposals recently were selected to receive seed funding through the university’s Hydrogen Energy Research Center’s Hydrogen Production and Transportation for Wyoming initiative. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Energy Central published UW’s release.

WyoFile reported that the Wyoming Energy Authority has recommended two energy projects for $19 million in support from the Energy Matching Funds program. Some $9.1 million would go to the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub -- of which UW’s School of Energy Resources is a partner -- and $10 million would support a “nuclear microreactor” effort to assess the manufacture and deployment of small-scale nuclear reactors in the state and beyond.


The Casper Star-Tribune reported that the state aims to boost incentives for carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery projects. Lon Whitman, director of UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, recently told the Joint Minerals Committee that Wyoming would “receive far greater revenue” through enhanced oil recovery projects than from permanent carbon dioxide storage projects.

Yahoo! Finance published an article noting that the Ramaco Research Rodeo, the world’s leading research conference focused on carbon and coal-to-products research, was held recently in Sheridan. Holly Krutka, UW School of Energy Resources executive director, was among the speakers at the conference.

Wyoming Public Radio interviewed Eric Robertson, senior engineer in UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI), about the Wyoming Trails Carbon Hub, which will develop a design for a pipeline network that would be a crucial part of carbon capture, utilization and storage. EORI and Carbon Solutions, a low-carbon energy research group, are co-leading the project.

UW’s Center for Carbon Capture and Conversion is collaborating with Laramie’s Western Research Institute to develop a new coal-based product: asphalt. County 17 published UW’s release.

UW will receive nearly $1 million as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s $23 million in funding for projects on technology transfer and knowledge sharing to advance the deployment of carbon capture and storage solutions. UW’s funds will be for projects related to geological research, according to Rig Zone.

County 17 published UW’s release announcing that the university and Wyoming partners will create a geologic database that will benefit carbon storage developers and regulatory agencies in the state. The collaborative project -- at a cost of nearly $2 million -- will be partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Management.

The CS-T reported that UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI) is collaborating with Carbon Solutions -- a carbon capture company -- and energy industry groups to develop a significant expansion of Wyoming’s carbon capture and storage infrastructure. EORI and Carbon Solutions will co-lead a $3 million U.S. Department of Energy-funded statewide carbon dioxide pipeline study.

GlobalSpec published an article that noted that securing adequate freshwater supplies for fossil fuel-fired power plant cooling tower systems is an increasing challenge for operators due to drought and climate change impacts. An analysis by researchers from UW and the U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory shows that retrofitting power plants to treat brackish groundwater could nearly eliminate the use of fresh water but would increase the cost of electricity generation by up to 10 percent.

The CS-T reported that UW will receive a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy  to establish a new nuclear chemistry research facility on campus. The grant will allow UW’s Nuclear Energy Research Center in the School of Energy Resources (SER) to conduct the first nuclear chemistry research in the state while extending nuclear chemistry training to students.

UW’s SER has a new lease at the Wyoming Innovation Center, a coal-to-products research facility north of Gillette. County 17 reported that, with the new lease, SER will expand its research and demonstration of a coal processing technology that originated in its Center for Carbon Capture and Conversion.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded UW $300,000 to support the establishment of a nuclear chemistry core facility on campus. UW’s release noted that the award is part of $6.3 million from DOE to bolster infrastructure and upgrade research reactors at universities as part of DOE’s Nuclear Energy University Program. Gulf Oil and Gas published DOE’s release.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions published an article on a recent forum at UW that focused on the potential economic opportunity of developing direct air capture technology in Wyoming. The article mentioned tours of the UW School of Energy Resources as well as the Drilling and Completions Simulation Facility, a state-of-the-art training operation.

An Associated Press article reported on the groundbreaking ceremony for TransWest Express, a transmission line that will move electricity from the $5 billion, 3,000-megawatt, 600-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm near Sinclair to California. A 2022 UW report was cited in the article noting that five more wind farm projects are in the works.

Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and UW report that using brackish water -- water that is not suitable for drinking or irrigation -- to cool power plants can reduce freshwater consumption by 94-100 percent. NETL published the report.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon penned an op-ed piece in The Hill titled “Carbon capture: The road less traveled, the path to economic and climate success.” Gordon touted UW’s School of Energy Resources, noting that the school has received nearly $100 million from the Department of Energy that “demonstrates the state’s commitment, innovative spirit and determination to address climate change while preserving our coal-reliant economy.”

The Casper Star-Tribune reported that UW’s School of Energy Resources is assuming control of the Integrated Test Center at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The carbon capture test site opened in 2018. UW’s original release on the announcement can be found here.

A “UW in Your Community” gathering is planned in Kemmerer Thursday. UW President Ed Seidel, some UW faculty members and current UW students from Lincoln County are scheduled to speak. The Star Valley Independent published UW’s release.

Sheridan Media published UW’s release announcing that UW’s Center for Air Quality will help conduct research to accurately depict methane emissions from oil and gas supply chains in Wyoming and Colorado basins. Sheridan Media also published UW’s release noting that Wyoming Heritage Grains, Food Bank of Wyoming and UW Extension will bring Wyoming-grown whole grains to food pantries across the state.

A new analysis led by UW researcher Haibo Zhai shows that brackish groundwater has the potential to replace fresh water to cool coal- and natural gas-fired power plants and strengthen resilience in the energy infrastructure, although there’s a cost associated with doing so. Smart Water MagazineScienceDailyEnvironmental News NetworkECO MagazinePower Engineering and EurekAlert! published UW’s release.

Tara Righetti, co-director of the UW School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Nuclear Energy Research Center, was quoted in an Idaho National Laboratory release titled “National Lab Helps Wyoming Explore Nuclear Energy Frontier.”

County 17 reported that UW’s SER will manage the Integrated Test Center, a carbon capture and utilization test center located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette.


Engineering News-Record reported that UW will receive a $40.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub in collaboration with Frontier Carbon Solutions. Scott Quillinan, UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) senior director of research, provided comments for the article. The Casper Star-Tribune and WyoFile published similar articles.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers reported that developers seeking to deploy advanced nuclear reactors can find high market potential in states with energy-intensive industries, nuclear-friendly laws and widespread social acceptance. Selena Gerace, Eugene Holubynak and Tara Righetti, all from UW’s SER, contributed to the report. EurekAlert! published INL’s release.

Wyoming Public Radio interviewed Temple Stoellinger, a UW College of Law associate professor and a Wyoming Excellence Chair, on the past, present and future of the Endangered Species Act. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the act.

Wyoming has potential for geothermal energy, but UW Associate Professor Soheil Saraji told Cowboy State Daily that the state is not ideal for traditional geothermal energy. Wyoming could attract companies that are developing new technologies using hydraulic fracturing deep in the earth that could unlock the potential for the energy source, according to the article.

Membrane Technology and Research broke ground last week on a carbon capture test site at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center near Gillette. The Casper Star-Tribune (CS-T) reported that the company plans to partner with UW’s School of Energy Resources to study injecting captured carbon dioxide into the CarbonSAFE storage project, with the ultimate goal of sequestering carbon captured from Dry Fork Station at a commercial scale.

UW will receive the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Faculty Development Advancement Award as part of the NRC’s University Nuclear Leadership Program. UW’s release, published by Sheridan Media, notes that the $600,000 award will support new faculty in the nuclear-related fields of nuclear engineering, health physics and radiochemistry.


UW student Jacob Schneider, of Cincinnati, Ohio, created a modeling story map to help Williams, an energy infrastructure company, identify the best site for the possible location of a hydrogen electrolysis plant in Wyoming. FuelCellsWorks published UW’s release.


Fred McLaughlin, director of UW’s Center for Economic Geology Research, was interviewed by Oregon Capital Chronicle for an article that focused on how scientists are pursuing a project in eastern Oregon that could stem climate change. He commented on how officials plan to funnel carbon dioxide emissions from a natural gas plant into the earth, storing them there forever.

County 17 published UW’s release noting that Marne Jones, Black Hills Corp. vice president of electric utilities, will discuss Wyoming’s energy future at UW today (Monday) as part of the School of Energy Resources Distinguished Speaker Series.

UW researchers Selena Gerace and Jessica Western were interviewed by Wyoming Public Radio to discuss their updated survey that now finds Wyoming residents favor natural gas as a future source of energy most and carbon capture least.


UW’s School of Energy Resources and the Wyoming Business Council recently announced that they intend to submit a proposal for a Wyoming Direct Air Capture Hub Pilot Center. Oil City News reported that the letter of intent describes how they would determine whether the hub pilot center is feasible. The proposal is for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Four Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program, which is part of the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

Wyoming Public Radio (WPR) interviewed atmospheric science Associate Professor Shane Murphy for an article that focused on preventing pollution by not idling your car in the winter. Murphy said it is better for your car not to idle, and it saves gas. He also provided comments for another WPR piece titled “Keeping your home warm in the winter can set fire to other issues.”

Coal Zoom published UW’s release noting that the university will receive $10.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for a research and development project advancing the wide-scale deployment of carbon management technologies to reduce carbon dioxide pollution.


Yahoo! carried a news release announcing that Strathmore Plus Uranium Corp. will collaborate with UW’s Near-Surface Geophysics Instrument Center to complete research at the company’s Agate and Night Owl projects in the Shirley Basin. Bradley Carr, director of the center and associate research scientist in the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics, was chosen to receive seed funding from the UW School of Energy Resources (SER) for his project titled “Pilot Study of Integrated Geophysical Method Characterization of Deposition/Roll Front Uranium Deposits in the Shirley Basin, Wyoming.”

Peabody, a leading coal producer, recently announced it will donate $500,000 to UW's SER to help fund research into future uses of coal, Wyoming Public Radio reported. SER Executive Director Holly Krutka was quoted in the article.

UW students will present on other uses of coal and carbon at the Northwest Colorado Energy Summit in Craig, Colo., in June, The Craig Press reported.

The Coal Valley News, in Danville, W.Va., published an article noting that last year, a UW proposal was selected to receive an $800,000 research award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program for an environmental justice project. The article focused on how environmental justice concerns persist as West Virginia looks at nuclear expansion.

WyoFile published an opinion piece that focused on technologic deficiencies in alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar. Tara Righetti, co-director of UW’s Nuclear Energy Research Center, said “nuclear provides an appealing option.”

CBS News Nigeria published UW’s release noting that Kara Brighton Fornstrom, a Cheyenne natural resources attorney and regulatory policy expert, has been hired as the new director of the Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis in the UW School of Energy Resources.

Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)