11 episodes

Following the race to develop an unlikely climate solution. Leaders in Wyoming have a plan to revive coal: jumpstart a young, controversial technology called carbon capture. To plant the seed, the state is hosting an international competition pitting five start-ups against each other for a grand prize. Can they figure out how to future-proof coal—or is this just false hope for the town that powered America?

Carbon Valley Wyoming Public Media

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 65 Ratings

Following the race to develop an unlikely climate solution. Leaders in Wyoming have a plan to revive coal: jumpstart a young, controversial technology called carbon capture. To plant the seed, the state is hosting an international competition pitting five start-ups against each other for a grand prize. Can they figure out how to future-proof coal—or is this just false hope for the town that powered America?

    Part 1: The Silver Bullet

    Part 1: The Silver Bullet

    Coal is on its last legs. In the coal capital of the country, in the least-populated state in the union, leaders had to make a move. So, they turned to a silver bullet and brought in a $20 million competition to jumpstart a new era for coal country. Along the way, an unlikely ally emerges: a skateboarding environmentalist.

    • 35 min
    Part 2: The Finalists

    Part 2: The Finalists

    We take a drive north across the Wyoming prairie to visit the research center that's been dubbed a "glimmer of hope" for coal country. There, we meet the XPRIZE competitors for the first time and learn what's at stake for them. And we start to wonder--could the confidence behind carbon capture be premature?

    • 47 min
    Part 3: Money And Time

    Part 3: Money And Time

    The finalists' confidence begins to crack as they're faced with the reality of setting up demonstrations in just a few months. How do their challenges stack up to those industry-wide? Also, we learn Jason and Dimensional Energy may be at more of a disadvantage than we even realized.

    • 44 min
    Part 4: On Grief

    Part 4: On Grief

    Cooper must abruptly leave Wyoming for an unexpected trip home. But there's no break in reporting on coal country: another coal-fired power plant has been scheduled for closure, spelling doom for Kemmerer, Wyoming. Loss tangles with hope--but is it false hope? Dedicated to Larry McKim.

    • 46 min
    Part 5: The Entrepreneur

    Part 5: The Entrepreneur

    It's the summer of 2019. Two more coal companies have filed for bankruptcy, and hundreds of workers are left in the lurch. Meanwhile, Jason Salfi is relieved to find out the Carbon XPRIZE has been delayed. But, how does Jason's drive for this technology square with Wyoming's own? Has he faced any struggles that would help him empathize with coal country's sense of loss?

    • 45 min
    Part 6: A Labor Of Love

    Part 6: A Labor Of Love

    Cooper can't wait any longer to see carbon capture utilization technology, so he makes a slightly abnormal reporting trip... across the country. He wants to see how Jason's team is faring. Are they actually ready to set up a large-scale demonstration soon? What challenges do an early-stage startup truly face? And most importantly, will Cooper survive an encounter with a very large rabbit?

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

ndjdusufhdbs ,

Host bogs down fascinating story with focus on personal

Fascinating and timely subject, with scientific, cultural and economic implications. There’s a lot to cover, but the host/producer is preoccupied with turning it into a personal journey story. He arbitrarily chooses one contender for the carbon capture prize who happens to resemble the host himself, and obsesses on that character at the expense of considering the other scientific teams. He inserts pregnant pauses throughout discussions, literally adding them to interviews when the interviewee does not pause sufficiently to the host’s liking. I was tempted to speed up the playback just to get through this faster. Challenging

Turquoise Sparrow ,

One of my favorite podcasts of 2021!

I really enjoyed the approachable style exploring a complicated subject. The very personal storytelling kept me interested. I binged it over a few days. Thanks for the intriguing narrative and shedding light on crucial local issues in Wyoming.

fgasquet ,

Beautifully Told Story

This has become one of my favorite podcasts of the year!! Whether you’re an expert on the young carbon capture industry or have never heard about it — Cooper McKim will take you on a personal storytelling journey to explore the potential of this promising technology, and what it means for the environment and the small town economies across Wyoming.

It’s beautifully narrated, very well balanced, warm and insightful. It will definitely leave you wanting to hear more. 👏👏👏

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