State, national and international media frequently feature the University of Wyoming and members of its community in stories. Here is a summary of some of the recent articles where the School of Energy Resources or its scholars are making the news.

 


May

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported that Kara Fornstrom, director of UW’s Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis, will be the featured speaker of a “Tax Facts: Lunch & Learn” webinar focusing on Wyoming’s renewable energy industry later this month. The grassroots initiative Wyoming Tax Facts and the Equality State Policy Center will co-host the event.

Lily Jackson, a UW School of Energy Resources research scientist, explained the supply chain of critical rare earth elements as it relates to national security in the U.S. during a “UW in Your Community” event in Wheatland. The Platte County Record-Times reported on Jackson’s talk, which was part of a discussion on a possible rare earth elements mine in the area.

April

Fred McLaughlin, director of UW’s Center for Economic Geology Research, told Montana Free Press that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in Wyoming have fielded three carbon sequestration proposals. He said he anticipates there will be a leasing fee associated with the use of BLM-managed pore space, the empty space in the ground between sediment particles and in air bubbles trapped inside rocks. His comments were part of an article titled “Putting a price on ‘pore space.’”

Goshen County News Now published UW’s release announcing that the UW Ranch Management and Agricultural Leadership Program will host a leadership symposium on the UW campus next week. The symposium is titled “Navigating Western Waters: Addressing Water Challenges in the Western Region.” Tri-State Livestock News also published UW’s release. Kara Fornstrom, Center for Energy Regualtion and Policy Analysis director in the School of Energy Resources will be a headlining speaker. 

Fred McLaughlin, Center for Economic Geology Research director in the UW School of Energy Resources (SER), was quoted in an S&P Global article that focused on the Biden administration’s carbon capture plans that are becoming closer to reality amid an uptick in well permits in several states, including Wyoming.

The 3D Visualization Center at UW’s SER developed a powerful outreach and communication application to help the public understand the mechanics of underground carbon storage as part of the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project in the Powder River Basin in Campbell County. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle published UW’s release on the interactive tool.

Cowboy State Daily reported that an energy research association and a filtration business have received U.S. Department of Energy funds to continue developing a project in Gillette that could make the Dry Fork Station the largest carbon capture power plant in the world. UW’s School of Energy Resources is a partner in various ongoing Dry Fork Station projects.

March

A post on the Energy Central website noted that University of Texas-Austin researchers are collaborating with UW School of Energy Resources colleagues on research that involves using a natural catalyst to generate hydrogen gas from iron-rich rocks. The project is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant.

UW law Professor Tara Righetti was the program chair for the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law’s recent Special Institute on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. South Texas College of Law Houston’s Harry L. Reed Oil & Gas Law Institute hosted the conference that drew participants from across the U.S., Norway and Germany, according to a news release published by The Southeast Texas Record, a publication that covers the state’s legal system.

Casper Star-Tribune article included comments from Jonathan Naughton, director of UW’s Wind Energy Research Center, for a piece titled “Wind is waning across the U.S. What does it mean for Wyoming?” Wind energy production across the U.S., including in Wyoming, declined in 2023 -- for the first time in years.

FarmProgress and The Powell Tribune noted the research of Resham Thapa, a UW School of Energy Resources research professional 1, who published an article assessing the effects of coal char as a soil amendment in Agronomy, a top-tier journal in the fields of agronomy and crop science.

WyoFile featured an article that focused on recent industry claims of large rare earth element deposits in Wyoming that boast of a potential new mining industry worth billions of dollars. Included in the piece was UW’s School of Energy Resources’ continued research in examining the potential for rare earth elements in coal and coal ash.

Tulsa, Okla., based Williams recently received a $975,000 grant to study carbon capture and storage efforts in Wyoming. The grant -- to study development of a saline CO2 storage hub near Williams’ Echo Springs gas plant at Wamsutter -- is a collaboration between Williams and UW’s School of Energy Resources, according to Oklahoma Energy Today.

Cowboy Clean Fuels was recently awarded $7.8 million in state funding to pursue commercial-scale development of a technology that will produce renewable natural gas and capture carbon emissions using existing coalbed methane infrastructure in Johnson County. The technology, which involves injecting feed-grade sugar beet byproducts into deep coal formations using CBM wells, was developed at the UW’s Center for Biogenic Natural Gas Research, according to a Gillette News Record article.

February

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle published UW’s release noting that a $250,000 gift to UW’s School of Energy Resources from energy infrastructure leader Williams will advance carbon capture, utilization and storage within the state and beyond.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported that the U.S. Department of Energy will fund a select set of carbon capture projects at the forefront of climate solutions, such as those at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) near Gillette. Before grants can be awarded, recipients must submit a Community Benefits Plan (CBP) to enhance project transparency and broaden community involvement. UW’s Christine Reed, the School of Energy Resources’ (SER) outreach director, detailed the “CBP Toolbox,” a resource guide and webpage to help Wyoming stakeholders craft CBPs in Wyoming. SER manages the ITC.

St. Louis Public Radio carried comments from Tara Righetti, UW’s Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policies, for a segment focusing on how the U.S. wants to construct more pipelines for carbon capture in the Midwest, but local farmers are against the proposal. Righetti detailed how CO2 is captured.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle published a Buffalo Bulletin article on how Johnson County oil fields are the subject of extensive research by UW researchers who are hoping to boost future energy production on the Mowry Shale formation in the Powder River Basin. The article included quotes from Scott Quillinan, UW SER’s senior director of research. SER leads the early stages of the project.

A measure that would provide a $10 million “stimulus” to encourage more carbon capture for use in the oil industry will advance to the coming legislative session. UW’s Lon Whitman, Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute director, told WyoFile that, for the oil industry, CO2 has always been seen as a valuable commodity.

January

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle published UW’s release noting that the Wyoming Integrated Test Center will host a new $2.5 million project with Colorado State University, UW and Living Ink Technologies to convert an industrial source of carbon dioxide into high-value materials through an algae-based carbon transfer process. The project, also supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, began its initial phase in 2023.

UW’s School of Energy Resources was recently awarded $2.7 million for a pilot project that tackles large quantities of water produced by oil and gas wells. The project -- among six from the Wyoming Energy Authority that will receive matching funds -- was approved by Gov. Mark Gordon, Wyoming News Now reported.

UW is among three institutions that will receive funding for projects that will support humanities-driven science, technology, engineering and mathematics to facilitate interdisciplinary student training and technology development, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. In all, 19 projects will share $17.4 million to support novel, early-stage research at 17 U.S. colleges and universities.

Holly Krutka, executive director of UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER), spoke with Cowboy State Daily for an article focusing on funding a novel process to convert coal to asphalt. The state, along with Peabody Energy Corp., is considering funding millions of dollars to the project at the Wyoming Innovation Center in Campbell County. SER manages the center.

In a Gillette News Record energy roundup forecast article, underground carbon storage projects around the state were mentioned, including the Dry Fork Station in Campbell County, the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub and the Echo Springs projects. All are DOE-funded CarbonSAFE initiatives administered in cooperation with UW’s SER.

Frontier Carbon Solutions received three Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality permits to drill three deep wells west of Green River, representing the first permits issued for carbon capture in the state, according to SweetwaterNOW. UW’s School of Energy Resources is part of the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub.

 


SER in the News Archives

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2023

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