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Wyoming RC&D Conference Features ‘A Community- Based Energy Approach’

Written by Grant Stumbough

By Grant Stumbough, Southeastern Wyoming RC&D Coordinator, Natural Resource Conservation Service

Mark your calendars! The Southeastern Wyoming Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council cordially invites you to the 2011 Wyoming RC&D Association Energy Conference scheduled for April 28 at the 4-H Building in Wheatland.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be hosted by the Wyoming Association of RC&D Councils. The councils consist of the Big Horn Basin, Historic Trails, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western. The goal of the conference is to address a wide variety of energy development opportunities, related challenges and potential solutions that will provide the foundation for a community-based energy development effort in Platte, Goshen and Laramie counties.

Southeast Wyoming has great potential to provide a generous portion of the nation’s energy needs and move us a step closer to energy independence. This corner of the state has been blessed with world-class winds, plentiful oil and gas reserves and is pursuing new energy technologies that are cost effective and conserve natural resources. In fact, Pathfinder Wind recently initiated the permit process to construct a 2,100-megawatt wind park in Platte County, and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has issued 153 oil drilling permits in Laramie County, 69 permits in Platte County and 24 permits in Goshen County. These energy development efforts will create a plethora of jobs and businesses, provide a clean and reliable energy source, and stimulate local and state economies.

A common theme of the conference will be how local communities can play an important role in the development of energy resources. By fostering strong partnerships with all energy stakeholders, local communities can help create new jobs and develop businesses to sustain local economies for both current and future generations.

The conference will also emphasize the need to conserve our majestic landscapes, clean water, abundant wildlife and agriculture production values. Conference participants will hear presentations from both the wind and mineral industries as well as local, state and national leaders on how we can work together to accommodate the development of a variety of energy sources while conserving our quality of life. This is a lofty goal, but we are taking steps in the right direction.

The conference is very timely and we extend a hearty welcome for all to attend. Jim Rogers, president of the Wyoming Association of RC&D Councils, will kick off the conference and also provide the closing remarks. Conference speakers and topics include:

Keynote Address - Governor Matt Mead will outline his vision for energy development in Wyoming.

Oil and Gas Panel - Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup, will serve as moderator. Panelists include:

- Jeff Schwartz, Noble Petroleum Inc., and John Dill, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, on oil and gas development opportunities in Southeastern Wyoming;
- Tom Doll, Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, an update of oil and gas regulations and operations;
- Jane Francis, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, on landowner water quality monitoring opportunities;
- John Barnes, Wyoming State Engineers Office, on temporary water use agreements and other water issues;
- Terry Stevenson, Platte County Commissioner, on the economic and environmental impacts of oil and gas development on counties.

Wind Energy Development Panel - Rick Grant, Renewable Energy Alliance of Landowners, will serve as moderator. Panelists include:

- Jeff Meyer, Pathfinder Wind, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Wyoming Wind and Power, on wind development opportunities in southeast Wyoming;
- Loyd Drain, Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, an update on electrical transmission;
- Eric Lantz, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), on the economic impacts of wind energy development;
- Gregor Goertz on a landowner’s perspective regarding impacts to agricultural operations;
- Cheryl Riley, Wyoming Power Producers Coalition, on wind energy development challenges in Wyoming.

Other Presentations

- Milt Geiger, University of Wyoming, on how to make farm and ranch operations more energy efficient;
- Stewart Powell and David Askins, American Renewable Energy Associates, an update on the proposed Waste to Energy Plant near Guernsey;
- Sherrie Merrow and Randy Teeuwen, Encana Inc., on natural gas – from Wyoming for Wyoming- natural gas vehicles and infrastructure coalition;
- Donn Randall, Wyoming Business Council, on producing and marketing biofuels.

Conference sponsors will provide lunch and refreshments. They include the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, Pathfinder Wind, Wyoming Petroleum Association, Marathon Oil Company, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy Corporation, Fidelity Exploration and Production Company, QEP, Coalbed Natural Gas Alliance, Encana Inc. and REX Energy Corporation. The state RC&D Association could not host this conference without their help and their support and generosity is sincerely appreciated. Thank you!

Again, the Southeast Wyoming RC&D Council and the Wyoming Association of RC&D Councils welcome you and hope that you enjoy the energy conference. RSVP by April 22 to Grant Stumbough at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 307-322-2187. For more information and to view a copy of the agenda, visit sewrcd.com.