Wyoming

7:00am

Wed September 10, 2014
Wind Power

Wyoming Has The Wind, But Powerlines Hinder Development

High Plains Wind Farm near McFadden, Wyoming on a breezy summer day.
Leigh Paterson Inside Energy

Wyoming wind is indeed legendary. The University of Wyoming's Wind Energy Research Center claims the state has the best land-based class 6 and 7 wind sites, a categorization based on wind speed and power generation. But according to the American Wind Energy Association, Wyoming ranks just 14th in installed wind capacity.

The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project could change that. In August, Wyoming issued the last necessary state permit, and if the wind farm gets federal approval, it will be the biggest in the country with 1,000 turbines that could generate up to 3,000 megawatts of energy.

For now this is all hypothetical, because the transmission capabilities that the Chokecherry project requires just don't exist.

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6:53am

Thu August 14, 2014
Oil and Gas

For Pipeline Health, Industry Believes In The Power Of The Pig

A "smart pig" used to inspect the Belle Fourche pipeline.
Stephanie Joyce Wyoming Public Media

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.

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5:00am

Mon August 11, 2014
Energy

Coal Culture Runs Deep Through Wyoming

Meet the Coal Miner's Daughters, Gillette, Wyoming's roller derby team.
Leigh Paterson Inside Energy

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."

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10:16am

Sat July 19, 2014
Reporter's Notebook

Waiting For The Union Pacific Streamliner

The Union Pacific E-951 Streamliner outside Henderson, Colorado
Nathan Heffel KUNC

It's an early Saturday morning and a handful of spectators are poised near a railroad crossing at 120th Ave and U.S. 85 in Henderson, Colorado. They're waiting to see a piece of history, a vintage Union Pacific Streamliner as it sets off from Denver bound for the "Daddy of 'em All," the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in Wyoming.

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5:00am

Wed July 16, 2014
Oil and Gas

Oil And Gas Glut Taxing The West's Pipeline Networks

The "pig trap" for a pipeline at a tank farm in Guernsey, Wyoming.
Stephanie Joyce Wyoming Public Media

In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas in late 2013. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants.

Most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.

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