Wyoming has spent years doubling down on coal by embracing a technology called carbon capture. One of the state-led efforts to build up the burgeoning tech came through a competition called the NRG COSIA Carbon X-PRIZE - a $20 million competition that's set to finish April 19. The XPRIZE has officially been in motion since 2015. In 2018, our energy and natural resources reporter Cooper McKim began to follow the competition.
Through the years, he's put together an in-depth series called Carbon Valley starting with this episode you're about hear. Listen to more episodes by subscribing to Carbon Valley wherever you get your podcasts.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage continue to gain steam across Wyoming, with Governor Mark Gordon urging Congress last month to consider a bill that supports infrastructure for the technology. The hope is that carbon capture tech will take off in Wyoming and help offset the cost and emissions of a coal plant - and then keep it open. There's plenty of doubt about whether that can work.
Wyoming leaders have supported the tech since around 2008, when coal production in the state first began to decline. Energy and Natural Resources reporter Cooper McKim spoke with former Governor Dave Freudenthal about the origins of the state's vision for carbon capture and why it didn't gain traction right away. Noa Greenspan, producer for the audio series Carbon Valley, put together the interview.
Over 560,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, many of whom left behind children. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen has this memorial of Alonso Frias, a father of five in Casper who died last month at the age of 50.