Mystery Bridge Superfund

The EPA recently removed a portion of the Mystery Bridge/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund site east of Evansville from the National Priorities List after state and federal regulators determined that no further cleanup was necessary. Work began at the site, generally east of the Sinclair Casper Refinery and south of the Brookhurst subdivision, in the late 1980s after extensive oil, solvent and wastewater contamination was discovered in the soil and groundwater. A portion of the area remains on the priority list.

Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune

Have an event, trend or general energy happening you’d like to see in the Energy Journal newsletter? Send it to Star-Tribune energy reporter Heather Richards at heather.richards@trib.com. Sign up for the newsletter at www.trib.com/energyjournal.

Last week in numbers

Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $61.55 Brent (ICE) $67.70

Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $5.39, Wyoming Pool $4.04, Opal $4.29

Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 924, Wyoming 26

Quote of the week 

“Superfund sites are superfund for a reason. They are generally complex. Once contaminants get into the groundwater, it takes a while to remediate that.” --

Andrew Schmidt, remedial project manager for the EPA in Denver, speaking of the superfund sites in Evansville

Evansville superfund site deleted

A superfund site designated in the 1980s in Evansville lost that distinction, when the Environmental Protection Agency decided completed remediation and testing qualified it for removal

In other news

  • The rig count fell this week, a decline that some say may point to renewed discipline by some companies, a Houston Chronicle reporter tweeted last week. 
  • The bitter cold on the East Coast and across the Midwest, including a bomb cyclone drove up natural gas prices --just look at the weekly averages --sending Henry Hub to $6.88, a daily it hasn't hit since 2014.   
  • Lighthouse Resources, which operates the Black Butte mine in Rock Springs, is suing Washington State over western coal exports from the state's coast
  • Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy is to sponsor the Wyoming Congressional Awards Ceremony in April, the council announced last week. 
  • Ramaco Carbon, the coal firm hoping to dig in Sheridan County despite pushback from some local landowners, has launched a website. The firm is engaged in a lawsuit over an Environmental Quality Council decision last year that the firm's mining plan was deficient. Ramaco hopes to build a carbon research center along with the mining operations. 
  • Meanwhile, Contura Energy, which recently stepped out of the Powder River Basin by transferring the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to an Appalachia-based firm, was downgraded by Moody's for the transfer. Letting go of the PRB mines opens Contura up to volatility in the metallurgical coal market. The downgrade also reflects Moody's, "expectation of continued secular decline of the U.S. thermal coal industry," the firm wrote. 
  • Coal reporter Taylor Kuykendall points out that 2018 may hold more of the same for coal as natural gas plants go up and coal-fired generation retires.

Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner

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Energy Reporter

Heather Richards writes about energy and the environment. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, she moved to Wyoming in 2015 to cover natural resources and government in Buffalo. Heather joined the Star Tribune later that year.

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