1970s amendments to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 boosted the share of federal mineral royalties flowing to Wyoming and other oil-rich states while preserving the original act’s aim to balance production incentives with conservation—thanks in part to some shrewd maneuvering by Wyoming’s congressman, Teno Roncalio.
Browse Articles about Energy
|Coal Slurry Pipeline, History of||Dan Whipple|
|Coal, Wyoming business of||Chamois L. Andersen|
|Coal-bed Methane boom, Powder River Basin||Dustin Bleizeffer|
|Elk Basin Oil Field||Rebecca Hein|
|Energy Transportation Systems, Inc. coal slurry pipeline||Dan Whipple|
|ETSI coal slurry pipeline||Dan Whipple|
|Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir||Annette Hein|
|Gamara, Batiste, coal miner||Sergio Vedovato|
|Garrett, Edna, Growing up in Salt Creek, Wyo.||Casper College Western History Center|
|Grass Creek Oil Field||Rebecca Hein|
Oil refining in Wyoming began in 1895. By the 1920s the state boasted 16 refineries, with Standard Oil’s plant at Casper by far the largest. Production tracked oil booms and busts throughout the 20th century, culminating in the 1991 shutdown of Casper’s Amoco (formerly Standard) Refinery. Six refineries remain in production today.
Cheyenne’s M.H. “Bud” Robineau scrambled to put together the deals enabling construction during World War II of an airplane-fuel plant next to the Frontier Refinery he owned. Help from U.S. Sen. Joseph O’Mahoney proved crucial in cutting wartime red tape. The plant came online in 1944 and continued to produce high-octane fuel after the war.
Since it first entered the state in 1890, the Burlington Railroad has helped connect Wyoming with the world. Burlington officials were drawn here by Wyoming’s marketable natural resources and by its geography: Wyoming offered the best routes for transcontinental lines from the Midwest and South to the Pacific Northwest.
A late-1960s Atomic Energy Commission plan to extract Wyoming natural gas with five underground nuclear explosions won strong initial support from the oil and gas industry and the federal government. Finally, however, the idea stalled, thanks to the emergence of more information on possible dangers, to Washington politics, and especially to intense local opposition in Sublette County, Wyo., where the devices were slated to be detonated.