Wyoming Moves To Become Nation's Leader in Carbon Capture and Helium
I called the Cowboy State home for 7 years and I wouldn't call it the greenest state in the union. Wyoming is a leader in coal mining, mostly taken from the Powder River Basin, and now the state is angling to become a leader in the unproven and fantastical technology known as carbon capture and sequestration. On Monday, federal officials released their draft environmental study for a CCS project in western Wyoming. We'll see if it ever really happens. The Casper Star Tribune reports that Cimarex Energy Co. of Denver is proposing to construct the large-scale carbon sequestration project as part of its Rand Butte Project along the Wyoming Range in southwest Wyoming.
Cimarex is willing to put up $100 million to make the largest sequestration project in the world. The site would also create about 30 percent of the world's helium production. The 34-acre CCS plant would be built on land put aside for schools in Sublette County, right near the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary.
There are no large scale CCS projects operational in the world. Wyoming, however, passed legislation that makes it legal to store carbon underground. CCS has been championed by the coal industry as a get-out-of-jail-free card, meaning that we can keep burning coal and battle climate change. The problem is that no one knows what are the consequences of storing carbon underground. I wouldn't want it buried under my town. Would you?