Stephanie Joyce, Wyoming Public Radio

Recent Posts

Dark Side Of The Boom: The Formula For Alaska’s Safety Success

The film crew of the Deadliest Catch trains for cold water survival.

The dangers of the Bering Sea crab fishery have been made famous by the reality TV show Deadliest Catch, but in the last 15 years, it’s become much safer, in large part thanks to collaboration between industry, scientists and regulators. We wondered: are there lessons that the oil and gas industry could learn from the crab industry’s safety gains? Continue Reading →

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Dark Side Of The Boom: Why Is Wyoming Safer?

An oil and gas worker pours a defoaming agent into the drill string.

For more than a decade, Wyoming has been among the most dangerous places in the nation for workers. Fatalities peaked in the late 2000s, at the height of the state’s natural gas drilling frenzy. The number of deaths has fallen in recent years, but has the safety culture changed, or did the drilling rigs just move on? Continue Reading →

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As Pipelines Multiply, Pigs Are Paramount

A "pig launcher" at the Eighty-Eight Oil tank farm in Guernsey, Wyoming.

Pigs are used for cleaning pipelines, pipelines that carry natural gas, crude oil, waste water from energy producing areas to the places where that energy is used. Perhaps more importantly, they are used to inspect the millions of miles of pipeline that crisscross the country for corrosion and other problems. Continue Reading →

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Pavillion Ground Water Contamination Report: No Smoking Gun


When the Environmental Protection Agency released a report in 2011 linking groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming to fracking, it sparked a national debate about the safety of drilling for oil and gas. Response to the latest report on Pavillion groundwater contamination, released Wednesday, was considerably more muted, with just a handful of articles in the local media. Continue Reading →

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Powder River Basin Power Play

Segments of pipeline ready to be laid outside of Douglas, Wyoming.

Signs of the boom are easy to spot on Wyoming Highway 59 outside of Douglas. It’s not North Dakota, but as I sat in traffic for 15 minutes on a recent afternoon, waiting on road construction, it wasn’t hard to imagine that it could someday resemble it. Industry analysts think so too. Continue Reading →

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Leaky Barrels, German U-Boats And 2.6 Million Miles of Pipe

The Invisible Network of a Million Miles is a TIME magazine map from January 1964. The pipeline network has expanded by more than a million miles since it was drawn.

There’s an invisible network connecting every corner of the United States. Without it, cars wouldn’t start and lights wouldn’t turn on. At 2.6 million miles, if it were stretched out, it would reach around the Earth more than a hundred times. Chances are, you’ve never noticed it. The nation’s sprawling pipeline network is buried underground, out of sight and out of mind. But it wasn’t always the case that pipelines crisscrossed the nation, bringing energy where it was needed. Continue Reading →

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