Green River Star -

By R. Brian Woody
Guest Column 

Carbon capture provides great potential for energy industry


When we hear the name ‘Union Telephone Company’ we think about high-speed internet, mobile devices, and terms like ‘connectivity.’ But at Union, while our focus is on helping to connect Wyomingites from every corner of the state, we also focus on supporting economic growth and the development of industries of all kinds because when Wyoming grows and prospers, so do our local communities.

Dating back to 1884 and the first oil and gas well drilled in Wyoming, our state’s rich history has been closely tied to the energy industry. This industry employs our friends and family by the thousands. Energy workers, in turn, help our local communities by supporting businesses of all types throughout the state, helping drive economic growth.

In fact, without our state’s energy industry, we could say goodbye to the $1.23 billion in taxes contributed to state and local governments and the 19,416 jobs it supports.

As the industry continues to reinvent itself, it’s important to not lose sight of the benefits it provides. Nor should we overlook industry advancements, such as carbon capture and storage.

Carbon capture and storage is a proven way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s often overlooked, but carbon capture has been practiced in Wyoming for many years. Here in La Barge, we are home to one of the most productive carbon capture and storage plants on Earth, currently accounting for 20% of all carbon dioxide captured in the world each year.

So, you may be thinking, why does a company like Union Telephone care? Not only do we see the environmental benefits carbon capture and storage technology can bring to our state’s environmental footprint, we also understand the important economic and infrastructure investment that it can represent for our rural communities, many of which our company and customers are a part of.

The expansion of carbon capture and storage capabilities in Wyoming has great potential. If our state expands carbon capture and storage to just 10 of our industrial and power facilities, we could help reduce nearly 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. This would go a long way toward helping us meet our national and global environmental commitments by cleaning up critical portions of our economy that historically emit lots of carbon.

In a time when our economy is on the ropes, suffering from inflation and increased gas prices, carbon capture and storage also provides an opportunity to put hard-working Wyomingites to work.

Projections show that carbon capture and storage projects could add up to 3,300 construction jobs per year and 1,900 full-time employment opportunities over the next 15 years. These are real, good-paying jobs for blue-collar workers.

For us at Union, we take a simple, common-sense approach to solving problems. When something is good for Wyoming, good for the environment, and good for our local economy, we support it. That’s why we support carbon capture and storage in Wyoming. The economic and environmental future of the state needs it.

R. Brian Woody is the Chief Customer Relations Officer at Union Wireless.


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