In 2014, the Wyoming State Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design, construction and operation of an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-fired power plant. Courtesy Wyoming Integrated Test Center

CHEYENNE – When former Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead proposed the state experiment with carbon capture more than four years ago, many in the mineral-heavy region were skeptical, believing it to be an outright anti-coal proposal.

But Mead, a Republican, convinced the state Legislature that investing millions in a carbon capture test facility at a Gillette coal plant, which opened last year, would help make Wyoming a leader in an emerging technology. The governor argued waste carbon emissions could be converted into economic boons for the state, such as cement.

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