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Medicine Bow Project, Carbon County, WY

STATUS: In progress, with opposition

TYPE: Coal


PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: In 2006 the developer proposed construction of a $2 billion coal to liquid facility to produce up to 21,000 barrels per day of gasoline and other products in Carbon County, Wyoming.  The project will use a proprietary ExxonMobil technology and is estimated to create up to 6000 jobs, including 450 full-time jobs, and provide gasoline at a competitive price (e.g. $60 per barrel).

A siting permit was granted in December 2007.  An air emissions permit was granted in March 2009.   Sierra Club appealed, claiming the air permit failed to properly address sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions and to treat the project as a “major source” of hazardous air pollutants, among other things. In February 2010, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council dismissed the appeal, and Sierra Club appealed to the Wyoming Supreme Court.  Oral argument occurred in October and a decision is pending.

The developers have applied for a $2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee.  Sierra Club and other environmental special interest groups oppose the application as part of their campaign against all coal plants. DOE has indicated it might rule on the application sometime in early 2011, although it has yet to complete an environmental impact statement on the project.    

Construction has yet to begin.

SOURCES: http://coalgasificationnews.com/2009/02/23/dkrw-plans-to-construct-coal-gasification-plant-in-wyoming/

LAST UPDATED:  December 8, 2010