Welcome to Out West, the official podcast of the Western Governors’ Association. Tune in each month to hear experts discuss the most important issues facing the region.
The Well of the Future: Repurposing Oil and Gas Wells for Geothermal Energy Production
In the latest episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, The Well of the Future: Repurposing Oil and Gas Wells for Geothermal Energy Production, WGA Policy Advisor Steven Emmen sits down with Johanna Ostrum, the Chief Operating Officer of Transitional Energy; Will Pettitt, the Geothermal Discipline Lead at Baker Hughes; and Will Gosnold, a professor of geological engineering at the University of North Dakota.
Together they delve into the potential for blending aspects of the oil and gas industry with geothermal energy production, and how doing so can help make both industries more efficient and sustainable.
Out West (#34): The Next Generation of Western Leaders
The Next Generation of Western Leaders, the latest episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, highlights the inaugural class of delegates from the 2022 Western Governors’ Leadership Institute, a new programmatic offering from the Western Governors’ Foundation that is designed to promote and encourage the effective exercise of leadership in young adults throughout the West.
Listen in as Aspen Lenning from Oklahoma, Gustaf Vanderdonck from Arizona, Samantha Mooney from Colorado, Gabriella Smith from Washington, Brandon Larranaga from New Mexico, Kaleb Dschaak from North Dakota, Jonathan Karlen from Montana, and Skyler Bollar from Idaho discuss their experiences at this year's Institute and how their interactions with the Governors, Cabinet Secretaries, and sponsors who attended the event, enhanced their perspective of effective leadership and bipartisan political action.
Out West (#33): Supporting Coal Communities
The new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, 'Supporting Coal Communities,' explores the economic trends impacting Utah’s coal communities in the face of changing energy markets and state efforts to bolster economic development opportunities in those areas.
Listen in as WGA Senior Policy Advisor, Lauren DeNinno, speaks with Alyssa Kay, Director of Program Development for the Utah Office of Energy Development, and Geri Gamber, the Executive Director of the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments. Together they discuss specific programs that the state has pursued to support rural economic development, like the San Rafael Energy Research Center, which works to diversify the state's energy portfolio and help employees in the coal industry transition their skills to new economic sectors.
Out West (#32) Agricultural Workforce in the West
The new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, Agricultural Workforce in the West, explores the challenges that communities face as more agricultural workers retire, the barriers that young people face when attempting to start a career in the industry and opportunities to address the issue by expanding apprenticeship programs on family farms and ranches.
Listen in as WGA Policy Advisor, Kevin Moss, speaks with Kate Greenberg, the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, and Sarah Wenzel-Fisher, the Executive Director of the Quivira Coalition, a non-profit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico that is dedicated to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes. Together they discuss effective workforce training programs and partnerships that can help young people develop the necessary tools for a successful career in agriculture.
Out West (#31): Post-Fire Restoration Challenges
'Post-Fire Restoration Challenges' explores the challenges that wildfire-affected communities face and the available resources to help them recover.
Listen in as WGA Director of Federal Relations and Strategic Initiatives Troy Timmons speaks with the Founder and CEO of Coalitions & Collaboratives, Inc., Carol Ekarius, about improving community capacity to address restoration needs, federal programs that offer assistance and opportunities to enhance the implementation of both pre-fire mitigation and post-fire restoration work.
Out West (#30): Fixing America’s Forest
The new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, Fixing America’s Forests, delves into recent forest management projects that successfully protected western communities by slowing potentially catastrophic wildfires and insect infestations. The lessons extrapolated from these case studies can help communities coordinate forest health treatments – especially as resources become available as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the U.S. Forest Services’ 10-year fire strategy.
Listen in as WGA Policy Advisor Jonah Seifer talks with Ben Wudtke, the Executive Director of the Intermountain Forest Association, about how collaborative, all-lands interventions can effectively save communities and ecosystems from uncharacteristic wildfire and insect epidemics, building long-term resilience in our forests.