Wyoming's mineral industries faced historic levels of volatility and uncertainty in 2020, and reporter Camille Erickson was there to document it.
Here are her most memorable stories of 2020.
- What does the next generation envision for Wyoming's future? What kind of state do they want to live in? A Star-Tribune special section set out to find out.
- A series of events this spring and summer devastated the U.S. oil and gas business. And in response, most companies had no choice but to shut in wells, shed workers and wait for better times. For many of the people keeping the oil and gas business in Wyoming afloat, that means their work becomes more than just a job. What happened when the state's rig count fell to zero for the first time in 136 years?
- Wyoming faces a decision: put all its chips on developing clean coal technology, or transition to new industries. A study published this year by the U.S. Department of Energy plunged Wyoming into a moment of reckoning, filled with heated debate over the merits of retrofitting coal plants with carbon capture. And the energy decisions Wyoming leaders made this year could have consequences for generations to come.
- The future of the Equality State’s relationship with renewable energy development remains murky as federal wind production tax credits expire, cutthroat market conditions slow down projects and the state’s tax conditions remain far from stable. Despite this year’s boom in wind, few new projects are coming down the pike or set to come online next year. As the state scrambles to diversify its economy and recover from the collapse wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, this story explored the future for wind energy in Wyoming.
- Dozens of businesses in Glenrock, along with other tiny Wyoming towns, have been pummeled by the pandemic. Business owners question whether they will survive. This story took a close look at a town built to support Wyoming's coal economy in the year of the pandemic.
(5) updates to this series since Updated
In this moment of reckoning for the state, I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s time to pause and hear what the young people of our state want and need.
“It’s unprecedented," said Nathan McLeland, manager at M&K Oil Company. "I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s terrifying. Oil, gas and minerals are the backbone of our economy."
Wyoming faces a decision: put all its chips on developing clean coal technology, or transition to new industries.
Without federal incentives or the state's blessing in the form of a stable tax environment, some energy developers say making a wind project happen in Wyoming over the next decade might be tough.
Dozens of businesses in Glenrock, along with other tiny Wyoming towns, have been pummeled by the pandemic. Business owners question whether they will survive.