Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mine! Mine! All Mine!

Well, I wish - I'd settle for a minor percentage of the gross. East of Point of Rocks, WY along I80 one can see a strip coal mine in action. Google-fu has determined the mine is the Black Butte Mine.

I've kvetched before about how the oil industry giants are actually energy companies, and that they are heavily invested in other forms of power producing methods - green, pie in the sky tech - whatever. GE is actually kind of an outlier with their wind power division - they aren't normally associated with Big Oil. So, guess who owns the Black Butte Mine?

That would be Anadarko, of Big Oil fame and fortune. Anadarko, who purchases a major portion of my company's products, which in turn keeps me in midget porn and Cheetos. Just thought I'd get that little disclosure out of the way, as it were.

Westbound on I80 on the east side of the mine - distance makes the dragline seem small, but I can guarantee you it is not. Small.

Eastbound on I80, on the west side of the facility - showing the small mountains of tailings.

Same thing different view. There just might be a ton or three of material there.

Another view of the dragline from the eastbound side. There are actually two working down in the hole. Apparently driving 75mph distorts time and space on the Mighty Binder.

And, as an added bonus, whilst Googling around I found this:


This area isn't even noted for mining - the Powder River basin is where most of Wyoming's coal production originates. I've been through there, too, but you can't see the mines from the road. Between Douglass and Wright, WY is one of the largest rail car repair yards you'll ever see. They ain't working on grain hoppers or boxcars there, either. All coal cars.

Both areas are in a whole lot of nuttin' but desolate country. Grazing is pretty sparse for cattle, but the antelope seem to like it just fine. It's far, far different than what I'm used to for sure.


Jinglebob said...

Yup, my wife's Uncles all worked over there slightly north and west, in the coal mines. Huge holes in the ground, but much smaller than nature made at the Grand Canyon. They dig the coal, turn it into electricity and those dumb schmucks who call electricity "clean" energy, smile. Idiots. We are surrounded by idiots. I was beginning to worry about you. No posts for a couple days.

LeeAnn said...

Isn't midget porn just the most life-changing thing? I haven't been the same since I first saw it. Red rubber boots. Stepladders. Leering midgets in snorkel masks.
My cultural education fled the room at that point and never came back.