A continuing energy boom in the Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains is reshaping the future of what’s powering America. The three states are feeling this new energy economy differently, and it’s changing political realities in different ways.
A calf outside of Scottsbluff Nebraska, an area that is seeing a cattle boom.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC
California ranchers, despite near-record beef prices, are shrinking their cattle herds in response to one of the most severe droughts the state has ever faced, and many Colorado ranchers are taking advantage.
Hemp is grown for its fibers and seeds and lacks high concentrations of the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
The farm bill passed earlier in 2014 is big news for advocates of hemp. The legislation differentiates industrial hemp from its cousin, marijuana, and paves the way for research across the country on the plant.
An ongoing oil and gas boom in the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains region of the country is reshaping the way the U.S. gets its power. At the same time, debates over energy production and policy, especially along Colorado’s heavily populated Front Range, are becoming more high-profile and polarized.