The little town of Bill, Wyoming is certainly not a boom town. It this town of 11, there's a school, a post office, a hotel and a general store. What it lacks in population and size, it's making up for in oil and gas traffic. Bill is situated in the middle of a 115-mile stretch of highway that connects two of Wyoming's biggest boom towns: Douglas and Gillette.
The oil and gas boom in states like Wyoming, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas has not only brought jobs and prosperity but also a dangerous spike in traffic and accidents. According to Wyoming's Department of Transportation, accidents on Highway 59, which runs through Bill, nearly doubled between 2010 and 2013.
The story is more complicated than that. Nearly all of us with retirement accounts – the tens of millions of Americans with IRAs, 401Ks, 403Bs, or pension funds – are actually solidly invested in oil and gas companies.
As Election Day approaches, candidates are using the issue of climate change science in the classroom to mobilize their bases. This is especially true in Wyoming, because with just over half a million residents, elections are generally decided by just a handful of votes.
Enrollment in petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, and at similar programs around the country, has risen dramatically in the last five years in response to the nation's energy boom. Students are flooding into these programs to cash in on high-paying industry jobs.
There’s a huge, mostly invisible web of pipelines crisscrossing the country that make it possible for our stoves to light and our cars to turn on. Those pipelines run from oil and gas producing regions to refineries and processing plants, crossing miles of private property along the way. The people whose land they cross don’t often benefit, but a new strategy may help.