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Coal Gasification Project Headed to Wyoming Council

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An Australian company’s plans to experiment with turning coal into gas without removing the coal from the ground are headed before a state review panel.

The Wyoming Environmental Quality Council is scheduled to review a state license for Linc Energy at a hearing Nov. 14.

Linc Energy says its underground coal gasification technique promises cleaner and less expensive energy than importing foreign oil.

The process involves pumping air into a coal seam. Oxidation turns the coal into gas. The gas is pumped out and can be processed into oil and other fuels.

The project in Campbell County heads before the council because a group is contesting the license. The Powder River Basin Resource Council worries the process could contaminate groundwater.

State regulators express confidence the project won’t cause pollution problems.

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