How Colorado And Wyoming Are Working Together To Clean Up Coal Emissions

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Photo: Spring Creek coal mine in Montana (AP Photo)
In this April 2013 photo, a truck carrying 250 tons of coal hauls the fuel to the surface of the Cloud Peak Energy's Spring Creek mine near Decker, Mont. The mine is located on public land.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead dedicated the country’s largest carbon capture test facility last month. The Integrated Test Center grabs the CO2 produced by coal emissions before they reach the atmosphere, and a Colorado electricity provider is a big backer of the project.

Wyoming Infrastructure Authority Executive Director Jason Begger talked to Colorado Matters about the new carbon test center. Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which owns both coal mines and coal-fired power plants, is involved.

Capturing carbon dioxide from burning coal may sound futuristic, but the technology exists now. It's just very expensive to acquire, especially to a struggling industry. Carbon isn't the only issue with coal: Mining is still a dangerous occupation, with 15 deaths in the U.S. last year.