The University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources may affiliate with a coal-to-liquids project proposed near Medicine Bow.

Involvement with the roughly $2 billion dollar coal-to-gasoline plant, proposed by DKRW and currently up for review, would be another expansion on the academic portfolio offered at the school.

"We're having conversations with the project in Medicine Bow about an affiliation and we are optimistic that will work out."

University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan says,  "that is certainly and area we have interest in, in moving the raw material of coal up the value chain into a more highly valued product."

As the school explores coal to liquid, Buchanan says, commercial and political shifts mean they've turned, for now, away from Carbon sequestration projects. That shift reflects the flexibility built into the schools structure keeping them on track with their goal to advance energy related science that benefits the state.

"Over time our long term goal ought to be to have the resources in the energy school that roughly parallel the state's energy portfolio."

A conference coming in the new year sponsored by the School of Energy Resources reflects that intention.

It's an international gathering that looks at Secondary Biogenic Coal Bed Natural Gas.

The school also offers, for 9th and 10th graders The Energy Summer Institute that's designed to get students thinking creatively about the energy problems facing the world.

And last month ground was broken on a $25.4 million dollar Energy Resources Center at U-W that will offer state-of-the-art research and collaboration facilities