I’ve been reporting on the decade-and-a-half series delays in building the Two Elk Energy Park in Northeastern Wyoming. It’s just one of many state-backed projects meant to get better use out of the low-grade coal produced here that has yet to come to fruition. I interviewed Veteran journalist — and once-pal of Hunter Thompson — Rone Tempest of WyoFile, who investigated another aspect of Two Elk: The suspension of federal funding after a stunted effort to dig an exploratory well on the premises.
Host Intro: Wyoming Public Radio News reported earlier this month that the Two Elk Energy Park received its seventh permit-extension. The billion-dollar project was approved 16 years ago – intended to generate power from low-grade coal in the Powder River Basin – but it has never been built. The Two Elk project is a subsidiary of the Colorado-based North American Power Group, which cited the recession and legal challenges for the delays.
This week, however, WyoFile published a special report revealing that a federal stimulus to drill a research well to determine whether the Two Elk Site had potential for CO2 storage was suspended last January because of accounting irregularities, and more than $1 million have gone to pay salaries to businessmen leading the project, one of whom is Senator Mike Enzi’s son Brad. The project has been referred to a U.S. Attorney for Review. WyoFile co-founder Rone Tempest filed the report, and joins Rebecca Martinez on the phone from his home in Lander.