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Articles written by Nicole Pollack

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  • BLM proposes sweeping changes to oil and gas reclamation program

    Nicole Pollack,|Jul 27, 2023

    The Bureau of Land Management is moving to modernize federal bonding requirements meant to ensure the cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells. The reforms come more than 60 years after the agency last updated the minimum bond amounts companies must pay before they can drill on BLM leases, Biden administration officials announced Thursday. If finalized, the rule would put companies under more pressure to see their drilling projects through — a notable change to a federal program that has struggled to prevent wells from being abandoned in the p...

  • Mine project confidence grows

    Nicole Pollack, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 13, 2023

    CASPER – It’s all coming up roses for the rare earths mining project in the works outside Laramie. A few weeks after announcing that its Halleck Creek find could be the largest known deposit of rare earth elements — a modern manufacturing staple — in North America, American Rare Earths released a formal resource estimate on March 31 that suggests a mine at the site could prosper for decades to come. Its findings confirm “a strategically significant rare earth asset … which should enable the largest economy in the world to reduce its dependence...

  • Wind developers retain powers

    Nicole Pollack, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 16, 2023

    CASPER — Private wind farm developers will retain the same right to eminent domain afforded to other energy projects, after Gov. Mark Gordon blocked an attempt by state lawmakers this winter to bring back a wind-specific land use restriction. Under current state law, companies building energy generation facilities have the right to cite some infrastructure — including power lines used to carry electricity away from wind turbines — on private property, even if landowners say no. The Wyoming Legislature barred wind developers, specifically, from...

  • Wyoming companies hoping to change U.S. reliance on China for rare earth elements

    Nicole Pollack, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 14, 2022

    CASPER — Beneath Wyoming’s surface lies a bounty of resources most of us haven’t thought about since high school chemistry. None of the increasingly sought-after rare earth elements — neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, another dozen lanthanides and a couple of others — are household names. On the periodic table, they’re housed mostly in the block of outliers relegated to the place where Alaska and Hawaii sit on U.S. maps. But many of those elements are household staples. They’re what let smartphones glow and ring and buzz. They make fridges c...

  • Bison eyed for Endangered Species Act protection

    Nicole Pollack, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jun 9, 2022

    CASPER — Another iconic Yellowstone species is being considered again for Endangered Species Act protections. Threats to the park’s plains bison — including loss of habitat and migration routes as well as the spread of disease — are concerning enough that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a year-long review of the subpopulation’s conservation status, the agency announced Friday. The decision, which was be published in the Federal Register on Monday, comes after a federal judge ruled in January that Fish and Wildlife Service f...