Elephant in the room...

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ragtimejoe1
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Ok, all political bs aside, what's next? Please do not interject with "well this candidate x".

Fact, we are in a recession and natural energy is suffering. Western universities like UW depend on state revenue. We are facing the first year of MAJOR budget shortfalls with no end in sight. Catastrophic levels to be sure. Nothing like we've seen before unless you were alive during the great depression.

All bs aside, what's next? Please don't come with Biden is going to save us (Trump wouldn't have been able to either). Do we survive this? It's looking damn rough...again, no party or candidate bs.
Last edited by ragtimejoe1 on Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wyokie
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Personally think several sports leagues will die off. I could see a bunch of minor leagues in baseball going belly up. As for college football, I do see major realignment at all levels coming and a lot of leagues and more schools than "normal" dropping football.

I don't see any of the pro teams in the four major leagues folding but never say never in this world.

Hate to say it but the Great Depression 2.0 is coming. My great grandmother (passed away in 1993) was around for the first one.
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Asmodeanreborn
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I think the Great Depression was uniquely set up by the conditions at the time. While we're certainly already in a recession, we haven't exactly run out of the resources people need in order to survive, nor will we anytime soon. Yes, things are definitely testy politically, but it can be overcome...

I'm really hoping to see an actual infrastructure bill coming through Congress. Roads, bridges, Internet, water supply, hyperloop transport ( :P ), whatever rural areas need. I think it's time to bring some of the things readily available in cities out to the less populous areas without necessarily looking for a short-term ROI.

Most of all, I want to see something that actually benefits the little guy... since the beginning of the year, companies like Amazon, Comcast and Wal-Mart have done insanely well, while small businesses all over are suffering. I don't have a solution, though, since everything seems to inevitably flow toward the top.
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PokeNer
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Well there's no way the State survives if we keep operating like we have. Either we have to cut government spending immensely, which includes UW support, or find some way to pay for the things we become accustomed to. Oil and gas might rebound a bit (likely not until late 2021 or 2022), but probably never back to the levels in 2013/2014. Coal is likely to continue its demise. That tax base is going to have to be replaced through either income tax, I-80 tolls, or corporate tax or we're going to have to operate at the bare minimum. Based on the direction our legislature is going, I don't anticipate any taxes being approved.

As for UW, I wouldn't expect any facility improvements for a long, long time. I'm glad we got to where we are at, but I'm not holding out any hope for the west-side stands, the swimming pool, or anything else. We're in a bad spot, because I don't think we have any room to cut programs and stay D-1. Could we cut some and replace with programs that have lower overhead?

The University is going to have to be more self funded, which likely means raising tuition, cutting programs (already proposed), and possibly increasing ticket prices. Does anyone know how the dorms are being funded?
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McPeachy
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Wyoming (the state) needs to commit to housing safe nuclear waste - short term & in transit. The figure I was told, was a 10-year contract, for 10 billion. A billion a year, with no expense (that would be picked up by the Fed). That would be a good start in saving the state, but nobody is talking about it. Between Rawlins & Rock Springs - a great area to build such a storage facility on its way to Yucca.

Next up, Wyoming should explore the plus / minus of a nuclear energy plant (or two). Although there is a downside, the upside would save the state. That, and spend some time looking at expanding solar energy for the state, not just wind energy. Areas of Wyoming get over 300 days of "sun" - a perfect climate to generate solar power. Lastly, coal gasification needs to play a role in the future...coal is dead as we know it.

:twocents:
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WestWYOPoke
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PokeNer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:36 am Well there's no way the State survives if we keep operating like we have. Either we have to cut government spending immensely, which includes UW support, or find some way to pay for the things we become accustomed to. Oil and gas might rebound a bit (likely not until late 2021 or 2022), but probably never back to the levels in 2013/2014. Coal is likely to continue its demise. That tax base is going to have to be replaced through either income tax, I-80 tolls, or corporate tax or we're going to have to operate at the bare minimum. Based on the direction our legislature is going, I don't anticipate any taxes being approved.

As for UW, I wouldn't expect any facility improvements for a long, long time. I'm glad we got to where we are at, but I'm not holding out any hope for the west-side stands, the swimming pool, or anything else. We're in a bad spot, because I don't think we have any room to cut programs and stay D-1. Could we cut some and replace with programs that have lower overhead?

The University is going to have to be more self funded, which likely means raising tuition, cutting programs (already proposed), and possibly increasing ticket prices. Does anyone know how the dorms are being funded?
UW currently has 17 NCAA sports, 8 male, 9 female. Minimum requirements for FBS membership are 16 sports, at least 6 male, 8 female. So based on that, UW could cut 1 male or female sport and still be compliant. Obviously if they cut a female sport, they would have to reduce spending on male sports or spread that spending out among the other 8 female sports to be Title IX compliant.
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OrediggerPoke
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In the short term, things may improve dramatically. In the long term, revenue generation must look a lot different than years' past. BTW and historically, the effect of the presidency has very little impact on the energy mix...the driver is markets.

Short Term - I believe we will see an 'unexpected' rebound in revenues to the State. I would bet that we see a rebound in natural gas prices. The reason - oil drilling nosedived during the pandemic and the forces that kept natural gas prices and coal prices low was surprisingly oil drilling. This is because the oil development in the Permian, Bakken, SCOOP, Eagle Ford, DJ and PRB basins produced a LOT of 'associated natural gas' which kept the price of natural gas extremely low. When the price of natural gas is low, the price of thermal coal produced in the PRB is also low because natural gas and coal are the largest competing sources of electrical power generation. The only reason we haven't seen a price bounce yet is because COVID has kept natural gas prices artificially low. Assuming there is some sort of vaccine/treatment whereby the economy can rebound and whereby natural gas demand rebounds, I expect coal and natural gas revenues to exceed short term projections and provide some much needed relief to the state's coffers.

Long term - The outlook for thermal coal production in the Powder River Basin is grim to say the least. The world's second largest producer, Arch Coal, just announced that it intends to cut PRB production by 50% over the next 5 years (these are on top of cuts that have already occurred). PRB thermal coal production could be as low as 20% of the coal production that we saw in the 'good times.' Coal has long been by far the largest revenue generator of the State; accordingly, this revenue gap must be made up somehow. I do expect oil revenues and royalties to increase due to the likelihood of further oil exploration in the Sussex, Shannon, Turner, Teapot and Mowry formations within the PRB. However, oil production cannot possibly make up the gap lost due to decrease in coal production. BTW - thermal coal isn't 'going away completely' as some suggest. Thermal coal does haver other uses besides electric generation, and, carbon capture and sequestration technologies are likely to increase electric generation feasibility. However, these other uses and carbon capture technologies are very unlikely to make up for the production losses. Accordingly - the legislature MUST find a way to fix the revenue generation gap for the long term otherwise the only result is a complete defunding of state agencies or otherwise bankruptcy.

PS - these are my opinions which I believe to be educated opinions. But the presidency has MUCH MUCH less relevance to mineral production and energy markets than some suggest when you sort through all the crap in the media, facebook and elsewhere. The economic forces driving the markets have been and will always be the driving force in the energy mix.
OrediggerPoke
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McPeachy wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:55 am Wyoming (the state) needs to commit to housing safe nuclear waste - short term & in transit. The figure I was told, was a 10-year contract, for 10 billion. A billion a year, with no expense (that would be picked up by the Fed). That would be a good start in saving the state, but nobody is talking about it. Between Rawlins & Rock Springs - a great area to build such a storage facility on its way to Yucca.

Next up, Wyoming should explore the plus / minus of a nuclear energy plant (or two). Although there is a downside, the upside would save the state. That, and spend some time looking at expanding solar energy for the state, not just wind energy. Areas of Wyoming get over 300 days of "sun" - a perfect climate to generate solar power. Lastly, coal gasification needs to play a role in the future...coal is dead as we know it.

:twocents:
Both pie in the sky currently IMO (nuclear and coal gasification).

Nuclear Waste - 1) That figure is high and new sources of nuclear waste appear unlikely; and 2) Wyoming has little control over a nuclear waste project due to the ownership of federal lands within the State largely leaving the decision on a federal level and subject to a difficult and very lengthy environmental regulation process (NEPA, etc..).

Coal Gasification - Could not come close to competing with natural gas production elsewhere in terms of costs. That is, the Marcellus/Utica has enough natural gas to fuel the US for 100s if not 1000s of years and extraction of natural gas through unconventional drilling methods is much cheaper than coal gasification. Technology is always evolving but coal gasification is not on the horizon of many due to costs and the supply of natural gas nationwide. The only instances where coal gasification technologies appear to be remotely competitive in Wyoming is where you have existing coal bed methane wells that can be converted for coal gasification uses. It is my understanding that there are several companies evaluating the use of these CBM wells (some abandoned/some producing) to inject coal eating microbes that basically eat the coal and produce natural gas. What makes the use of the CBM wells economic in these instances is the fact that the well is already there.

Solar - There are certainly multiple issues here (distance from sources and need for transmission lines, environmental impacts, etc..). The big undiscussed issue here is these large open spaces which receive a lot of sunshine and could produce a lot of solar are largely federal owned lands. Unlike oil, gas and coal where the feds share the royalties with the state pursuant to law, I don't believe that there are any current rules/laws allowing for fee sharing in the solar context. The state could certainly look at taxing solar production but that would obviously decrease the incentive to invest in solar in Wyoming. Tough egg to crack with many unsolved issues that need to be addressed. I personally believe that our representative and senators need to be looking at these issues.
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WYO1016
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This conversation is FAR too focused on energy. That's old news. Coal, oil, and natural gas production will never be what they once were for us. That being said there are still avenues we can explore with energy production. They sure as hell won't recoup what we've lost in that sector, though, so we need to be thinking of other strategies.

PokeNer is dead on about taxes needing to increase. I work for a State agency, and there is a BIG project going on reviewing fees from every single agency and what would be feasible to raise in order to generate more income. I would be shocked in a personal income tax happens this decade, but the writing is on the wall for corporate income taxes. I know that WyDOT is in discussion for a road useage tax aimed at Wyoming residents to offset the loss of fuel taxes from more fuel efficient vehicles. It would be a tough pill to swallow, especially consider people that have to travel around the state for work. There's also the matter of deciding how to make it work is someone does most of their driving out of state. For example, someone who flies out of DIA a lot that lives in Cheyenne would be spending 90% of their miles in Colorado. Is the State justified in including that in a useage tax?
https://trib.com/news/state-and-regiona ... af738.html

As we have a lot of travel through the state on interstates, I think it would be wise for WyDOT to explore building state-owned charging stations. This would allow them to recoup some tax losses from fuel tax. There would need to be a LOT of studies done to figure out exactly how to balance the cost of building these stations and the tax we'd need to charge per kwH to make it work, but it would be a step in the right direction.

I also think that McPeachy is on the right track with nuclear energy. We have plenty of space available for storage that would not impact residents. We also have plenty of open space in which to build a nuclear power plant or two. Meltdowns are INCREDIBLY rare, and the containment is such that if a disaster were to happen the area would only be uninhabitable for around a decade if the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is any indication.

I do not envy the Legislature for the next decade. There are going to be some hard choices to be made. The long-serving members will either need to bite the bullet and make those choices or step aside and cede to someone who will do it themselves.
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LanderPoke
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Any updates on carbon capture or getting an export terminal on the west coast? China is building dozens of new coal power plants a year. The Chinese are becoming more affluent and less tolerant of living in a Sh#t hole. Seems they would be interested in our clean coal to improve their air quality
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LanderPoke
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McPeachy wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:55 am Wyoming (the state) needs to commit to housing safe nuclear waste - short term & in transit. The figure I was told, was a 10-year contract, for 10 billion. A billion a year, with no expense (that would be picked up by the Fed). That would be a good start in saving the state, but nobody is talking about it. Between Rawlins & Rock Springs - a great area to build such a storage facility on its way to Yucca.

Next up, Wyoming should explore the plus / minus of a nuclear energy plant (or two). Although there is a downside, the upside would save the state. That, and spend some time looking at expanding solar energy for the state, not just wind energy. Areas of Wyoming get over 300 days of "sun" - a perfect climate to generate solar power. Lastly, coal gasification needs to play a role in the future...coal is dead as we know it.

:twocents:
Hell, yeah. give me all your nuclear waste for that price. I would rather have all the nation's nuclear waste in the middle of the Red Desert than look at another damn windmill
OrediggerPoke
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LanderPoke wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:26 am Any updates on carbon capture or getting an export terminal on the west coast? China is building dozens of new coal power plants a year. The Chinese are becoming more affluent and less tolerant of living in a Sh#t hole. Seems they would be interested in our clean coal to improve their air quality
China is not building new coal plants to the extent many believe as it has capped total coal generation to 1,100 GW. In addition, China is seeking to limit dependence on foreign energy sources. Export terminal on west coast is not likely.
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-wi ... -the-2020s
https://www.powermag.com/china-promotes ... al-plants/

Great progress on carbon capture at the University.
http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2020/11/uw- ... oject.html
Last edited by OrediggerPoke on Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
OrediggerPoke
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LanderPoke wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:27 am
McPeachy wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:55 am Wyoming (the state) needs to commit to housing safe nuclear waste - short term & in transit. The figure I was told, was a 10-year contract, for 10 billion. A billion a year, with no expense (that would be picked up by the Fed). That would be a good start in saving the state, but nobody is talking about it. Between Rawlins & Rock Springs - a great area to build such a storage facility on its way to Yucca.

Next up, Wyoming should explore the plus / minus of a nuclear energy plant (or two). Although there is a downside, the upside would save the state. That, and spend some time looking at expanding solar energy for the state, not just wind energy. Areas of Wyoming get over 300 days of "sun" - a perfect climate to generate solar power. Lastly, coal gasification needs to play a role in the future...coal is dead as we know it.

:twocents:
Hell, yeah. give me all your nuclear waste for that price. I would rather have all the nation's nuclear waste in the middle of the Red Desert than look at another damn windmill
Outside of chokecherry, recent wind development in Wyoming has largely focused on private lands. The landowner can choose whether to allow wind development. Many are very favorable to the extra source of income.
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SDPokeFan
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What should Wyoming do? Diversify its economy. Encourage new industry. Think outside the box. Gasp, perhaps even a state income tax.

What will it do? Double down on coal, gas and oil, because derp.

Coal is dying and isn't coming back. Oil is next. Adapt or die.
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Asmodeanreborn
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WYO1016 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:18 am I also think that McPeachy is on the right track with nuclear energy. We have plenty of space available for storage that would not impact residents. We also have plenty of open space in which to build a nuclear power plant or two. Meltdowns are INCREDIBLY rare, and the containment is such that if a disaster were to happen the area would only be uninhabitable for around a decade if the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is any indication.
Instead of "traditional" nuclear, maybe taking on spent nuclear fuel and actually using it could be an option as well:
https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/3-ad ... watch-2030

Even if it ends up not being super efficient, it sure seems a better option to turn the spent fuel into something with a much shorter half life and not really worrying about what happens 200 years down the line to the storage. Most of all, though, investing in bleeding edge research and technology advancement doesn't seem a bad path, especially as it attracts the type of people who make AND spend a lot of money where they live.
Old-Bull
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Is it possible that the answer might not involve toxic substances at all?

If our only solution is varying levels of toxicity, we're all doomed.

Maybe we could find someone that will just inject spent nuclear fuel straight into our veins for $19.99 per horribly painful, cancerous, slow death.

They can start with all of you that suggest we bury the most toxic substance in existence under land my family lives on.

If thinking out of the box = allowing our state to become a toxic playground. Wyoming is screwed.
Last edited by Old-Bull on Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Asmodeanreborn
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Old-Bull wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:12 pm Is it possible that the answer might not involve toxic substances at all?

If our only solution is varying levels of toxicity, we're all doomed.

Maybe we could find someone that will just inject spent nuclear fuel straight into our veins for $19.99 per horribly mutated, cancerous, slow death.

They can start with all of you that suggest we bury the most toxic substance in existence under land my family lives on.
I mean, pretty much everything is toxic in high enough doses ;)

But the alternatives I suggested means that you don't need to worry about storing anything long term underground. You end up with something far less bad than "normal" spent fuel rods.
Old-Bull
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Asmodeanreborn wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:14 pm
Old-Bull wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:12 pm Is it possible that the answer might not involve toxic substances at all?

If our only solution is varying levels of toxicity, we're all doomed.

Maybe we could find someone that will just inject spent nuclear fuel straight into our veins for $19.99 per horribly mutated, cancerous, slow death.

They can start with all of you that suggest we bury the most toxic substance in existence under land my family lives on.
I mean, pretty much everything is toxic in high enough doses ;)

But the alternatives I suggested means that you don't need to worry about storing anything long term underground. You end up with something far less bad than "normal" spent fuel rods.
There isn't any way to change spent nuclear fuel into anything other than the most toxic substance on earth. It has a half life of 5000 years, which means it takes 5000 years for 5 grams to degrade into 2.5 grams and another 5000 years for it to degrade to 1.25 grams. It NEVER goes away.

I'll pass on burying the most toxic thing to exist under my house, thanks.

The mind set of this state is truly shocking. Coal is dead because people worldwide realize it's filthy, regardless of how cheap it is. The solution according to the Wyoming good ol' boys: let's double down and bring in something so filthy it makes coal and fracking chemicals look like multi-vitamins.

Maybe instead of running people out of the state legislature that successfully bring in economic diversity(even when they're republicans), we should run people out that are recommending replacing one filthy substance with the filthiest substance in the known universe.
OrediggerPoke
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Old-Bull wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:17 pm
Coal is dead because people worldwide realize it's filthy, regardless of how cheap it is.
Domestically, this is 100% false. Coal demand has fallen domestically as a direct result of costs and abundance of cheap natural gas...which is purely because of *gasp* fracking unconventional reservoirs. Had the McMurrys never had the ingenuity to test frac methods in the tight reservoirs of the Jonah Field and had many companies not copied and improved upon the McMurry formula, PRB coal production would absolutely be at all time demand highs.
McPeachy
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Old-Bull wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:12 pm Is it possible that the answer might not involve toxic substances at all?

If our only solution is varying levels of toxicity, we're all doomed.

Maybe we could find someone that will just inject spent nuclear fuel straight into our veins for $19.99 per horribly painful, cancerous, slow death.

They can start with all of you that suggest we bury the most toxic substance in existence under land my family lives on.

If thinking out of the box = allowing our state to become a toxic playground. Wyoming is screwed.
I feel bad that your family lives on the land between Rawlins & Rock Springs. What a sh#t[#], it is like the [#]f##k[#] wind-swept moon out there.

**That, and the storage is a temporary "non-toxic" above ground facility, while in transit to Yucca Mountain FFS. You can read about it here:

https://trib.com/news/state-and-regiona ... 95e6b.html
Dear Karma,

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