Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Articles written by Greg Johnson


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  • ITC in Gillette chosen for $52M CO2 capture project

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 6, 2021

    GILLETTE – Less than two weeks removed from announcing the winners of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, the Integrated Test Center is at the center of another large, high-profile carbon capture project. Gov. Mark Gordon announced Friday afternoon that the ITC, attached to the Dry Fork Station coal-fired power plant about 10 miles north of Gillette, will host one of two large U.S. Department of Energy CO2 capture research projects. The DOE has awarded $99 million to a pair of projects to continue their research into Phase III of the federal D...

  • Carbon XPrize winners announced

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 22, 2021

    GILLETTE – A pair of projects that promise to revolutionize the construction industry while helping solve the world’s carbon dioxide emissions problem has won the top awards in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize. CarbonBuilt, a team from UCLA led by Prof. Gaurav Sant that demonstrated its technology at the Integrated Test Center attached to the Dry Fork Station coal-fired power plant north of Gillette, won the coal track of the XPrize competition. CarbonCure Technologies, which demonstrated its process of infusing waste CO2 into concrete at a gas...

  • Peabody reaches deal with creditors

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Dec 31, 2020

    GILLETTE — In a move that could potentially stave off a second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in five years for Peabody Energy Corp., the company has announced an agreement with its creditors to refinance $459 million of debt. The agreement, made in a Christmas Day a press release, includes all of its revolving lenders and about 65% of its 6% senior secured notes due in 2022. In the release, the company calls the deal a “comprehensive financing solution” to help give it some financial breathing room as it continues to drown in red ink. “Toda...

  • Powder River Basin on pace to produce less than 200 million tons of coal

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 10, 2020

    GILLETTE — Under the right circumstances, carbon under pressure produces diamonds. But the intense pressure from multiple fronts now squeezing Powder River Basin coal is crushing the industry. Already struggling with weakening demand for U.S. coal, the nation’s largest coal-producing region also has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with historically bad results. Through the first eight months of 2020, PRB production is nearly 25% below this time last year and hundreds of high-paying jobs have been lost. While the last four months of the...

  • NTEC lays off 80 previously furloughed Antelope mine workers

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 3, 2020

    GILLETTE — When he got the call Thursday, Aaron McAllister was hopeful he’d be going back to work nearly three months after being furloughed from the Antelope coal mine. Instead, he got his severance package with the news that furloughs for himself and 79 other coal mine workers are now permanent layoffs. “I had hopes we were actually going to go back to work today,” McAllister said Friday. “We were hopeful, because there’s nothing to lose, so you might as well be [optimistic].” He and his girlfriend both worked at the mine located south...

  • Legislator defends councilman who resigned

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jun 25, 2020

    GILLETTE — Former Gillette City Councilman Shay Lundvall isn’t the only elected official to express support for a group of social media posts that prompted Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council to ask for his resignation last week. Lundvall resigned at the urging of the mayor and council after the city received a pair of complaints that he had “liked” several social media posts that support potentially sexist, violent and racist views. State Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette, said in a 20-minute Facebook video Wednesday that he also...

  • Plea agreement reached in case of student planning school attack

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jan 30, 2020

    GILLETTE — A former Sage Valley Junior High School student who took two handguns to school and expressed an intent to shoot other students and a teacher won’t spend the rest of his life in an adult prison. Dale Warner, 15, pleaded guilty to a pair of lesser felony charges Friday in exchange for dismissal of nine counts of attempted first-degree murder. He could serve up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. He also pleaded no contest to one charge of aggravated ass...

  • First research project on ground at ITC

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 31, 2019

    GILLETTE — To a casual passerby, the 109,000 square feet of flat, even crushed red stone is a big empty space. To Dave Gribble, the large research pad at the Integrated Test Center represents even larger potential. “I think [the ITC] has a lot of potential and it will be interesting to see how things evolve and change from the first set of experiments in all those test bays,” he said about the ITC at the Dry Fork Station power plant north of Gillette. As senior scientist for Colorado-based TDA Research, Gribble will have a front-row seat to se...

  • Second potential buyer emerges for Contura mines

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Sep 26, 2019

    GILLETTE — In a span of less than 36 hours, hundreds of former Wyoming Blackjewel LLC coal miners have gone from wondering if the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines would ever reopen to wondering who they may be working for when they reopen. Two companies have made offers to buy the mines after six weeks of near silence of what appeared to be stalled negotiations between the federal government and Contura Energy Inc., which bought the mines as the only bidder at Blackjewel’s bankruptcy auction. Contura announced Wednesday it has an agreement wit...

  • Blackjewel closes two mines, nearly 600 out of work

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 4, 2019

    GILLETTE — Nearly 600 workers at Blackjewel LLC’s coal mines in Campbell County are suddenly out of work after the company abruptly closed its Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines Monday afternoon. The move came just hours after the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in West Virginia. But motions that included asking for emergency financial relief to keep mines at Blackjewel’s 32 operations in Wyoming and the eastern United States either were denied or not acted upon. Online court filings as of Monday evening did not inclu...

  • Blackjewel CEO out, court grants emergency financing

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jul 4, 2019

    GILLETTE — Blackjewel LLC President and CEO Jeffrey Hoops Sr. will resign as a condition of a federal bankruptcy court’s order granting $5 million in emergency financing to pay for security and other maintenance at the company’s properties as it pursues a Chapter 11 reorganization. The financing, which will come from Riverstone Credit Partners, will provide money to adequately secure shuttered Blackjewel coal mining operations, including the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Campbell County. The mines were abruptly shut down and emplo...

  • Wyoming Energy Authority taking shape

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 23, 2019

    GILLETTE — The state is moving to merge the Wyoming Infrastructure and Pipeline authorities into a single Wyoming Energy Authority, and lawmakers want to make sure doing so won’t lose any of the expertise held by the former organizations. Combining the groups into a more encompassing agency that puts a larger umbrella over implementing Wyoming’s vision for energy production and research isn’t anything new in state government. But it’s especially important that the Cowboy State get it right, said Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyomi...

  • Cloud Peak files for bankruptcy

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|May 16, 2019

    GILLETTE — Cloud Peak Energy’s bankruptcy filing Friday afternoon may be the beginning of the end for the Gillette-based coal producer. Unlike previous Powder River Basin coal bankruptcies, Cloud Peak seems to be looking to shed debt and sell its assets rather than emerge as an ongoing company. The company said it will continue to attempt to sell “all of its assets” and that the company expects its three PRB mines “will continue normal operations throughout the process.” The filing ends months of speculation about Cloud Peak’s shaky financi...

  • Bill allowing coal terminal lawsuit sends message, legislator says

    Greg Johnson, Gillette News Record Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 7, 2019

    GILLETTE — Giving the Wyoming Legislature’s Management Council authority to take independent legal action over Washington State’s efforts to kill a coal export terminal project sends a message more than it threatens a lawsuit. That’s what state Sen. Jeff Wasserburger, R-Campbell/Converse, takes away from House Bill 251, which passed the Senate on the Legislature’s final day Wednesday and is awaiting Gov. Mark Gordon’s signature. Wyoming already is involved in litigation over the proposed $680 million Millennium coal export terminal in Longview...

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