Driving around the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming with Jeff Gillum and Jeff Campbell is like playing Where's Waldo?
Where most people would see a yard full of heavy machinery or an unassuming patch of prairie, Campbell and Gillum are constantly spotting coalbed methane wells. They point out the signature tan well houses everywhere: in front yards, in a parking lot, even at the driving range at the golf course.
Wyoming has almost 4,000 orphaned coal methane wells, abandoned by the companies that owned them when they went bankrupt. Now Gillum and Campbell, who work for the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, are in charge of making sure they get cleaned up and plugged.