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.
By Stephanie Joyce - Wyoming Public Media & Inside Energy
The pipeline tool known as a pig is versatile. In the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, Bond used a pig to blow up a pipeline. In 1987’s The Living Daylights, defecting Soviet spy Georgi Koskov used a pig as an escape route. Again in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, a pig was used to smuggle a nuclear weapon.
Pigs aren't just excellent James Bond plot devices, they also have practical applications.
Girls in clunky roller skates whiz past their coach. They're sweaty, rowdy, and covered in tattoos. Gillette's roller derby team proudly represents coal country, as does their name.
"We’re called the Coal Miner’s Daughters, number one because Loretta Lynn rocks!" Katie Buffington, president of the team, explained. "Number two because coal is the main source of income in the area. And we really wanted to get back to our roots, where we come from."