Coal production down

With the coal industry’s future increasingly uncertain, a Jackson think tank has organized a forum to discuss the future of energy production in Wyoming and other carbon-dependent communities around the world.

A long lineup of business leaders, legislators and academics from the U.S. and overseas will flock to Jackson next week to discuss the future of coal producers worldwide as climate change concerns push them into uncertainty.

The Jackson Hole Global Forum, hosted by the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs think tank, comes amid the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming initiative to diversify Wyoming’s economy by expanding beyond the minerals industry that has long been the state’s financial wellspring.

“Now is the ideal time,” Nathan Wendt, the think tank’s vice president, said in a press release, “to also discuss how climate and clean energy solutions can factor into future pathways that create new prosperity and reduce carbon emissions at the same time for Wyoming and places like Wyoming.”

As coal-reliant regions from China to Europe to the American Midwest struggle with fluctuating prices and competition from clean-energy producers, the forum will focus on the challenges communities face and what opportunities they have in power generation.

One of the keynote speakers will be Greg Hill, president of Hess Corporation and chairman of ENDOW. The other will be Han Wenke, former director of China’s Energy Research Institute of the National Development Reform Commission.

Among the remaining 40 or so speakers are a former Missouri governor, the Norwegian ambassador to the U.S., the consul general of the United Arab Emirates in Los Angeles, and representatives from financial companies like Goldman Sachs and McKinsey.

Drawing from closer to home, the forum will also feature speakers from the University of Wyoming and the state Legislature.

The forum will start at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 and 9 at the Center for the Arts. Tickets cost $25 for one day and $50 for both and can be purchased at

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911, or @JHNGtown.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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