carbon capture

Gabe Falzone, former VP of Technology for CO2 Concrete, now CarbonBuilt standing at their test facility at the Dry Fork Station
Cooper McKim

Two winners have been announced for the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE: one that used flue gas from natural gas combustion in Canada, the other, from a coal-fired power plant in Wyoming.

The competition aimed to scale up young demonstrations of carbon capture utilization technology: tech that uses carbon dioxide to create products.

Dave Freudenthal

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.


Screenshot of the online XPRIZE Carbon Removal page
XPRIZE Foundation

As the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE comes to a close in Wyoming, Gov. Mark Gordon has offered up the state to once again host an XPRIZE competition, public records acquired by Wyoming Public Media show.

Dave Johnston Plant
Greg Goebel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

A Wyoming Senate committee has started working on a bill that is intended to slow the closures of coal plants in the state.


Coming this month, Wyoming Public Media will be releasing Carbon Valley, a bi-monthly limited series following the race to develop an unlikely climate solution. Wyoming Public Radio's Naina Rao sat down with energy reporter Cooper McKim, who developed this series, on how Carbon Valley came about, and what drove the decision to create it.

Gabriel Falzone/UCLA

Cement production makes up eight percent of man-made carbon emissions. But a new technology developed by the University of California, Los Angeles might change that.

Wyoming PBS/Screenshot

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said the state of the state is good, despite a difficult financial year thanks to COVID-19. During his annual address, Gordon said the damage of the virus will last a long time.

Map of the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative project with corridors represented
Bureau of Land Management

The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative, a proposal from the Wyoming Governor's Office. The project has been in the works for nearly ten years with an eye towards boosting carbon capture utilization and storage including enhanced oil recovery.

Dave Johnston Plant
Greg Goebel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Several companies interested in making money through carbon capture are taking steps to set up shop at the Dave Johnston Power Plant in Glenrock, Wyoming.

Jupiter Oxygen

Jupiter Oxygen Corporation has plans to set up shop right here in Wyoming.

"We looked at Texas. We looked at North Dakota. We looked at Colorado, New Mexico... We homed in on Wyoming for a number of, I think, right reasons," said Steve Krimsky, senior vice President of operations for Jupiter Oxygen.

Cooper McKim

Earlier this summer, organizations got together across Wyoming to give testimony about the largest utility in the state's controversial plan to make a shift away from coal and towards renewables.

Job Impact Analysis by Year from DOE-funded report on CCUS in Wyoming. It predicts nearly 20 additional years of jobs from its scenarios versus Pacificorp's baseline plan.
United States Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy

The governor's office has released a report it requested from the U.S. Department of Energy last year that explores alternative scenarios to Pacificorp's plan to retire several coal plant units early and transition to a heavier focus on renewables. The report considers the impacts of instead retrofitting the plants with carbon capture technology.

Below the Dry Fork Station is the Integrated Test Center where Carbon XPRIZE teams were expected to set up shop. CO2Concrete's shelter is located near the middle of the picture.
Cooper McKim

The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition is nearing its finale, though with fewer teams on site than expected. The international carbon capture competition based in Gillette welcomed its second and last competitor to site this week after COVID-19 complications prevented all three other competitors from making the trek.

J. David Ake/AP


A new analysis by the Great Plains Institute and the University of Wyoming describes possible steps that industries in the U.S. can take to lower their carbon dioxide emissions. They propose using carbon capture technology and transportation infrastructure that moves the carbon dioxide to storage locations underground.

Elizabeth Abramson, Dane McFarlane, Jeff Brown

The Great Plains Institute and the University of Wyoming have published a new analysis on carbon capture and storage.

Units of the Jim Bridger Power Plant in Sweetwater County, pictured here, is facing early retirement under Pacificorp's preferred portfolio
The Center or Land Use Interpretation

The Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) has wrapped up its week-long hearing regarding its investigation into a western utility's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) released in October. The commission made no decisions or actions before adjourning other than setting a deadline for additional briefs.

Test site for the geologic carbon capture project in Campbell County
University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources

The Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory announced it will fund the next phase of an ambitious project developed by the University of Wyoming, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and other partners.

A map of the proposed CO2 pipeline corridors from the draft environmental impact statement released April 17
Bureau of Land Management

A project meant to support carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery in Wyoming has passed a regulatory hurdle. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative (WPCI). It's now seeking public comment.

Wikipedia via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

The Laramie City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to accept recommendations that hope to make Laramie carbon neutral by 2050. The recommended actions will offset municipal emissions with carbon removal techniques, and the city will turn to renewable resources where possible.

The Dry Fork Station, a coal-fired power plant, sits next to the Integrated Test Center which aims to research and develop carbon capture technology
Cooper McKim

The House Revenue Committee heard testimony today on a bill that would require public utilities to provide a certain percentage of their generation from "dispatchable and reliable low-carbon electricity."

House Bill 200 describes "low-carbon" as electricity generated using carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology - a process that can store or reuse carbon dioxide. In Wyoming, that would mean utilities have an incentive to preserve coal-fired power plants by equipping new technology. They would have until July 1, 2030 to meet the standards.

Ivy Engel

This past December, the City of Laramie commissioned the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) to create an emissions reduction plan with the end goal of net carbon neutrality - offsetting our carbon emissions with carbon removal techniques. 

Campbell County

Campbell County and the city of Gillette want to brand the region as the 'Carbon Valley,' and the local governing bodies are searching to hire a marketing firm to aid in this effort.

PDTillman / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As Wyoming looks to become a leader in carbon capture technology, the University of Wyoming's Energy Resources Council has launched its search for projects to develop that technology.

Integrated Test Center Facebook Page

Wyoming has announced a new partnership with Japan focusing on carbon technology research.

Cooper McKim

A $7.5 million competition to develop products out of carbon dioxide is less than a year away from its final stage. The NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZE competition will take place at the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette. Five teams are nearing the point where they can set up operations. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim speaks with Marcius Extavour about how teams are progressing and what's still to come.

Cooper McKim

Hundreds of train cars overflowing with coal extend alongside a road. Trucks haul the same energy resource in a large pit on the other side of the road. The highway is outside of Gillette, Wyoming, commonly called the coal capital of the U.S.

Marcius Extavour at the ITC gathering in February 2019
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

Four of the five finalists for the NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZE competition gathered at the Integrated Test Center (ITC) in Gillette Tuesday. It's the first time the organization has brought teams back to the site since the ITC opened in May of 2018.

Public Domain

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon asked the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee to fund a $10 million carbon capture test project. Gordon said the money would be provided to the University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources.

Diagram illustrating how CCS works after the carbon fuel has been burned.
Explain That Stuff

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has been a source of hope for coal country and touted by the Trump Administration as a way to keep the coal industry alive, while reducing its emissions. CCS aims to remove carbon dioxide from significant fossil-fuel emitting sites like power plants – it then either be stored or eventually used to develop products. But one report questions if its development is too slow to have a mainstream impact.

Stephanie Joyce

Wyoming’s energy resources are famous in the U.S., but they also play a role internationally. Coal markets are doing better now than in the past several years partially thanks to increasing exports and international prices. Dr. Robert Ichord helps give a broad view on the future of coal, renewable energy and carbon capture technology. Dr. Ichord has been a leader in energy transformation and security for years within the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and Department of Energy. 

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