Get Big Pivots

Cruising to Old Faithful in a loaner Chevy Bolt a blast

“To be blunt, I loved it,” reported Mike Koshmrl of the Jackson Hole News & Guide after cruising to Old Faithful in nearby Yellowstone National Park in a loaner all-electric Chevy Bolt I.

The Jackson-based local electrical cooperative had made the car available, and Koshmrl decided to get wild and crazy by setting out on the 203-mile roundtrip with very little charging infrastructure to fall back on.

But driving more slowly, as is the way on roads in crowded national parks, lends itself to better mileage. It turns out he had battery capacity to spare. He could have gone 300 miles.

Crunching the numbers, Koshmrl found he had consumed $2 in electricity, compared to $30 in gas if he had driven his pickup. And partly because this is on the Snake River drainage and part of Bonneville Power Administration’s hydro-heavy (and carbon-light) grid, he and his girlfriend and their big dog (after all, Jackson is a mountain town) produced just a single pound of carbon dioxide emissions. The pickup would have spewed 142 pounds.

The environment-loving residents of Teton County, a.k.a. Jackson Hole, could do well to electrify. They tend to drive a lot, and their per-capita emissions have been growing, 21.2 tons per person annually, more than a third higher than the national average.

Protect our Winters peeved with owner of Jackson Hole

Protect our Winters, the winter sports climate organization, had a few words for Jay Kemmerer, owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The resort has taken aggressive climate change actions such as buying renewable energy to power its lifts.

But Kemmerer recently hosted a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan. Surely you’ve heard of the former, and as for the latter, the Ohio congressman has voted against virtually everything anybody concerned about climate change has supported.

Writing in WyoFile, Save Our Winters executive director Mario Molina says that Kemmerer’s fundraiser caused Patagonia to withdraw its merchandise from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort retail outlets.

“While we at Protect our Winters recognize Jackson Hole’s investment in things like renewable energy for the resort, we fully support the employees and community members who see financial support of climate-denying, extreme-firing politicians as incongruent with Kemmerer’s stated goals.”

Wyoming counties scramble to apply for federal stimulus funds for shift from coal

WyoFile reports that the state of Wyoming has somewhat belatedly joined efforts originating in two Wyoming coal-dependent counties to tap into the federal government’s $3 billion program designed to assist “communities around the country not only rebuild but reimagine their economy for the future.”

In Wyoming, that means building futures independent of coal combustion.

In Rock Springs, the Sweetwater County Economic Development Coalition will submit a grant application to assist with developing an industrial park that hopes to cater to manufacturers, including renewable energy components, equipment for agriculture, mining and construction, and also data centers.

In Campbell County, home to much of Wyoming’s Powder River coal-mining, the focus is a 250-acre large-industrial and manufacturing park to explore new uses for fossil fuels. It hopes for $11.3 million in grants.


Allen Best
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