Articles written by Camille Erickson

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Wyoming's senators vote against Biden energy pick

CASPER – Sen. John Barrasso cast a vote against President Joe Biden’s pick for energy secretary Thursday over concerns former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s leadership would “crush” Wyoming’s economy built on fossil fuels. “I can’t support... Full story


Legislators eye solar tax

CASPER — A bill introduced by Wyoming’s Legislature on Tuesday proposes to exact an additional tax on utility-scale solar power facilities. House Bill 94 would levy a $1 tax on each megawatt hour of electricity produced from larger solar energy fac... Full story


Wyoming leaders criticize pause to federal oil leasing

CASPER — The Department of Interior on Wednesday temporarily suspended issuing new federal oil and gas permits or leases for 60 days unless approved by new appointees, to give the agency time to review existing policies. The order, signed by A... Full story


Pandemic, price war led to challenging year for oil; Wyoming's rig count fell to zero for first time since 1884

CASPER — The ubiquitous heads of pumpjacks, usually faithfully bobbing up and down across Wyoming’s landscapes, largely came to a standstill this year. A series of events devastated the U.S. oil and gas business, and the Equality State was not imm... Full story


Injured firefighter out of hospital

CASPER — A firefighter injured while battling the Mullen Fire in southeastern Wyoming on Wednesday is out of the hospital and recovering, according to Russ Bacon, the forest supervisor of the Medicine Bow-Routt national forests. “I’m happy to repor... Full story


Program expansion may help oil, gas

CASPER – Changes made to a federal lending program last week could open up loans to Wyoming oil and gas firms left reeling from volatile oil prices and low fuel demand during the pandemic. The Federal Reserve released new guidelines Thursday for i... Full story


Gordon OKs oil and gas tax break

CASPER — In the midst of unprecedented volatility in the global oil market, shale producers in Wyoming received a small boost Friday in the form of tax relief. Gov. Mark Gordon signed into law a bill providing reductions in state mineral taxes a... Full story


New Blackjewel owner misses first tax payment

CASPER — One of the newest companies to take over coal mines in the Powder River Basin has defaulted on its tax payments. Eagle Specialty Materials LLC — the new owner of the former Blackjewel coal mines in Campbell County — missed its first produ... Full story


Investigation finds no tie between fracking, water contamination

CASPER — A state investigation released Monday found no evidence linking fracking to contaminated groundwater east of Pavillion, confirming conclusions published in a previous water quality study. The report, conducted by the Wyoming Department of E... Full story


Economic growth shows signs of slowing

CASPER — Wyoming’s economic growth has started to show subtle signs of slowing, a new quarterly report published by the state’s Economic Analysis Division shows. Though statewide employment rates have remained strong, increasing by 1.3 percent compa... Full story


Blackjewel mine sale closes, some employees called back to work

CASPER — The sale of two Powder River Basin coal mines owned by bankrupt operator Blackjewel closed Friday, leading the new owner to begin mobilizing furloughed employees after nearly four months of limited communication. The closure of the sale c... Full story


Blackjewel reopening possibly delayed by permit snag

CASPER — A protracted fight to return two Powder River Basin coal mines to full operation after its owner Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy hit another snag in court Wednesday. The required transfer of mining permits and associated cleanup l... Full story


Gordon predicts more budget cuts

CASPER — With a month until his administration releases its first budget, Gov. Mark Gordon said all ideas to trim spending are on the table in 2020, explaining that Wyoming appears to be entering “a new period” in its history as the outlook for f... Full story


Blackjewel under investigation for fraud

CASPER — The unprecedented bankruptcy case involving coal operator Blackjewel showed signs of resolution last week when a federal judge approved the sale of two Wyoming coal mines to a new company called Eagle Specialty Materials. But a court d... Full story


Clean Water change pleases farmers, concerns environmentalists

CASPER — The Trump administration forged ahead on its 2017 promise to rollback regulations under the Clean Water Act this month, stripping away a rule that expanded federal protections to smaller streams and wetlands. The announcement was met with c... Full story


Predicted coal production number fall

CASPER — The country’s energy data center tempered forecasts for Western coal production as demand for the mineral declines nationwide and market uncertainty persists, according to a new report released last week by the Energy Information Adm... Full story


Court approves end to Blackjewel insurance

CASPER — Hundreds of out-of-work coal miners across the country lost their health care Saturday, after bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel received court approval to terminate its health insurance program. The employment-based insurance covered some 1... Full story


Study says oil, gas development disrupts deer eating habits

CASPER — Oil and gas development throughout Wyoming’s sagebrush habitats may be affecting mule deer well beyond the perimeters of a well pad, a new study by University of Wyoming researchers found. For each acre of mule deer habitat overtaken by ene... Full story


Federal royalty rule challenged in Wyoming courts

CASPER (WNE) — A rule requiring energy companies to pay full royalties on minerals extracted from public land will come under scrutiny again in Wyoming courts, after industry groups filed a lawsuit last month against the Interior Department over the... Full story

 By Camille Erickson    News    July 11, 2019

Cloud Peak, facing own problems, hires some Blackjewel miners

CASPER — As coal operator Blackjewel LLC went to battle in bankruptcy court last week, another Powder River Basin company quietly contended with its own financial troubles. Cloud Peak Energy filed for bankruptcy in May and is one of six coal c... Full story

 By Camille Erickson    News    July 4, 2019

Blackjewel seeks funding to reopen Campbell Co. Mines

CASPER — Bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel continues to seek additional funding to reopen its two shuttered coal mines in Campbell County, company lawyers said during a weekend bankruptcy hearing. The company will present a new financial package to t... Full story


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