Governor Candidates Talk Coal and the Carbon Capture Policy

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Cheyenne, Wyo. - Wyoming is largely dependent on coal, and Senator Barrasso's Carbon Capture policy aims to capture carbon dioxide for use in other products. And candidates have variety of outlooks on how this will work in Wyoming.

Photo of coal: Pixabay

Bill Dahlin, someone who works in the coal industry, says improving the cleanliness of coal is moderately important for the environment, but says that is not the coal industries' biggest worry.

"Really there's not regulatory issues that are insurmountable right now in the coal industry, it is the challenge of natural gas."

Businessman Foster Friess also sees natural gas as a threat, but when it comes to working with other countries who are looking for more environmentally sound regulations Friess says the issues is not the CO2 emissions.

"They're buyer our coal now if we could get it to them. so its not an issue of needing to clean it up more."

Taylor Haynes, doctor and rancher, says carbon is not an issue, and strongly apposes the idea that wyoming should spend money on requiring coal companies to changes fot the sake of the environment.

"Its nonsense. Carbon is the basic molecule of life in our system. We are a carbon based life form. So carbon capture, unless you can have a commercial outlet for that carbon, is a waste of money."

Mary Throne, a legislator that has personally worked on the carbon capture bill, is looking to use carbon for enhanced oil recovery.

"Coal has to be part of the climate solution, not part of the climate problem. And until we have carbon capture, at least in a pilot project, its very difficult to get there."

Rex Wilde sees the financial impact on the coal industry as well worth the impact it will have on the environment.

"The issue is bringing fourth the technology to make plants that use coal and are environmentally sound."

Businessman Sam Galeotes says the initiatives surrounding carbon capture are something Wyoming needs to be leading in from the technology sector.

"Coal is very important to us and we need to do everything we can to knock down the barriers and promote the sale and mining of coal in this state."