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Last week in numbers
Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $58.34 Brent (ICE) $65.12
Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $2.7, Wyoming Pool $2.59, Opal $2.62
Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 931, Wyoming 24
Quote of the week
“If it’s hard for us as a nonprofit, I can’t imagine (the impact on) a single person who wants to look up documents. They won’t be able to.” -- Casey Quinn, an organizer for the Powder River Basin Resource Council, talking about paying for public records.
Clean Power Plan, the remake
It's easy to get someone in Wyoming to tell you what was wrong with the Clean Power Plan, with its call for a potential 44 percent reduction of Wyoming carbon dioxide emissions and its threat to the coal sector. What's not easy is finding out what people want as a replacement.
Some say this a return to square one, others that it looks bad for the environment. In any case, the notice doesn't provide much certainty as to the agency's direction.
The number of deaths on the job in Wyoming was unchanged from 2015 to 2016, the downturn years for Wyoming's economy. Nationally, the majority of states saw an increase in workplace fatalities.
Paying for records
Groups that regularly seek public records from the state's environmental agency continue to push back on a statewide trend to introduce charges. A board that overseas rule changes for the air quality division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality voted against increasing fees last week. The group did not have sufficient numbers to halt the fees, and will likely vote again on the charges early next year.
Ahead of a public comment deadline from the U.S. Forest Service, Sen. John Barrasso advised caution on population targets for the imperiled grouse. His letter largely listed the interests that need to be balanced in any changes the Interior Departments makes to the management plans for the bird.
In other news
- BHP, the largest coal miner in the world, is considering dropping out of U.S. Chamber of Commerce and backing out of the World Coal Association as those groups distance themselves from addressing climate change, from the Wall Street Journal.
- Politics may favor fossil fuels, but there's an oil glut in the way, and oil discoveries tanked this year.
- Lastly, here's a really interesting take on the U.S. tax bill's renewable impact from Norton Rose Fullbright.