U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Environmental activists are calling for a united voice in protesting the Department of Energy's recent shipment of nuclear waste through our region.

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy sent a shipment of nuclear waste from Tennessee to southern Nevada. The shipment was incorrectly labeled as low-level waste, but it was actually mixed with waste that needs treatment before disposal. Nevada officials accused the agency of trying to sneak the material into the state illegally.

Office of Legacy Management / Department of Energy

Wyoming lawmakers are exploring the possibility of storing spent nuclear fuel rods to bolster the state budget as coal revenue becomes less reliable. Such storage would be temporary, they say, before the material is sent to a permanent repository. 

James Anderson, a state senator in Wyoming, says the gist would be to store containers of spent fuel at old uranium mines, but the idea is only half-baked. At this point, he and other legislators on a committee created to explore the issue are mostly compiling a list of questions.

Sean Coburn / University of Colorado

Wyoming and Colorado are in the top ten natural gas producing states. But in those states – and across the country – a lot of that gas is escaping straight into the air. Scientists are now working to come up with a better way to track those leaks down.

Flickr Creative Commons

For years, natural gas advocates have praised  the fuel as an affordable alternative to gasoline. While some cars and trucks can utilize the fuel, it hasn't been a viable option for larger vehicles -- like semi trucks. That could soon change.

Even as wind energy production has grown in recent years to be a large part of the country’s energy portfolio, a chill around federal funding for renewable energy has researchers increasingly turning to industry partners to bring the next generation of innovation to the marketplace.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

President Donald Trump has nominated former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary, bucking a recent trend of Midwest leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and making many in the farm country of the Midwest and Great Plans a little leery.

Coupled with the appointments of leaders from Oklahoma and Texas to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy, respectively, there looks to be a shift in the power center of the parts of the federal government that most directly impact agriculture.

Ryan Moehring / USFWS

A greenway to connect Denver with Rocky Mountain National Park would provide greater access to wildlife refuges by foot and by bike, but some say the plan would put nature lovers at risk. That’s because part of the trail will snake through Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the site of a former nuclear weapons manufacturing facility.

With the deadline for a funding grant looming, several cities have chosen sides -- will they contribute to the effort to secure the federal money or not -- and Arvada is the next in line.

U.S. Department of Energy

For the first time ever, Denver will host an international solar home building competition run by the U.S. Department of Energy. The 2017 Solar Decathlon will bring teams from 16 universities to show off model homes and compete for $2 million in prize money.

“Denver and the Colorado community really has demonstrated a leadership role in advancing clean energy technology,” said Jennifer Garson who directs DOE's Solar Decathlon.

Seeking Coal's Second Act, Wyoming Looks To China As An Ally

Oct 22, 2015
Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Wyoming is fighting hard to keep its coal on the market in the future, no matter the form. Why? Because, according to Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division, revenue from coal accounts for a whopping 25 percent of the state's budget. That dependence is underscored by announced cuts to the budget, courtesy of lower-than-expected energy revenues.

As global pressure to address climate change mounts and market forces continue to work against the black rock, researchers and policymakers in the state and in coal producing regions all over the world are scrambling to figure out what to do with coal other than burning it.

Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

In the rugged peaks outside Silverton, Colorado sits a prime example of the future of hydropower. It's not a behemoth new dam blocking one of America's rivers, it's a humming generator no bigger than a wheelbarrow, pulling in water from a mountain stream and making enough power for about two hot water heaters.

A fledgling industry is taking shape, focused on putting small electricity generation on already existing water infrastructure – known as small hydro. It's a flurry of new economic activity Congress can take a lot of credit for and it's an issue with opportunity for further political compromise as Republicans take control in the U.S. Senate.

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