As an update to the Recipe Box, I have been testing out new recipes lately.

Testing recipes means that I am trying out things that I have never attempted to bake before…the risk is high and the reward unknown.  You could end up with a masterpiece or you could end up with the creature from the black lagoon.

For example, I tried a new pound cake recipe that had sweetened condensed milk in it as a secret ingredient; the result was a sunken in disaster contained in my bundt pan.  The secret is out – that ingredient didn’t work! I tried a blonde brownie recipe that ended up more akin to blonde brownie soup for some reason.  It just would not bake up in the middle.  Then I went back to basics and baked a simple cherry pie to make sure that all was right in the world and that I could still bake.  If there is certainty in life in anything for me, it is with pie – sometimes you have to break out a trusted recipe after too much unknown.

When you put the pan in the oven when you are testing a recipe, the future is very uncertain.

This is a lot like the future of coal in Wyoming…

Coal in Wyoming is a lot like flour in your cake. It is, or traditionally has been, the backbone. Take Kemmerer, Wyoming, for example – its future is now uncertain due to its historical reliance on coal. Coal has been a significant factor in Kemmerer’s health and viability historically. A recent article in the Casper Star Tribune entitled, Indebted Coal Firm that Operates Kemmerer Mine Finds New Financing, Still Faces Uncertainty, highlights these issues for coal-reliant communities in Wyoming, like Kemmerer.

The future of coal in Wyoming is obviously unknown due to a number of factors, including market conditions, federal regulation and politics.  In fact, the impact of state politics on the future of coal was discussed in a recent Casper Star Tribune article entitled, Wyoming’s Governor Has Walked a Moderate Path on Coal, Now Candidates are Lining Up to take the Reins.

The other big factor that has an impact on the future of coal is a basic one – financial pressures. A great discussion of the money factor and its impact on coal can be found in the Casper Star Tribune article entitled, Wyoming Coal Newcomer Argues that it Failed to Make Debt Payments Because the Bank Ceased Communications.

What will happen to Wyoming coal?

Your guess is as good as mine, but the one thing we do know is that change is certainly afoot. We discussed the Wyoming Integrated Test Center in our last post, which can be found here.  Big and new things are on the horizon for coal – however, it is the same as when we are testing recipes…we have to just wait and see how it will turn out.