Some years back the University of Wyoming did a study that said gas wells prevent sage grouse mating.

I read that "study" on the air, saying that I doubted it.

Folks from across Wyoming began sending me pictures of sage grouse making nests in oil and gas wells.

A couple of years ago UW was facing budget cuts from the Wyoming state capital. 

The university issued a study that claimed to have surveyed the people of Wyoming, finding that Wyomingites like the way UW spends the money it receives.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Interesting that such a study comes out just as the university is worried about the money it receives from the state.

Now UW has a study out that claims: respondents believe energy development generally is very important now and in the future, with both at 94 percent, with 43 percent believing it is important for Wyoming to transition to carbon-neutral energy types.

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George Frey, Getty Images

To be clear, I have a lot of problems with just about every poll and survey I see. They are usually biased and way off the mark for an entire list of reasons.

If this one is accurate we can then say that only 43% of Wyomingites thinking carbon-neutral is important is a low number. But I still think that number is too high.

As someone who travels all over the state talking to people about various topics, and I've been doing it for many years, I find very few people in this state that think CO2 is a pollutant or is responsible for climate change.

The UW survey claims to have contacted nearly 700 residents among the 12 counties most involved with energy operations -- Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Sublette, Park, and Uinta.

Nearly 700 means, not quite 700. 

Black woman signs a petition at her front door

I know that Wyoming only has 578,759 as of the 2019 census. Talking to less than 700 people is not enough to really get a good look at what people are thinking.

I'd love to see what questions they asked. That has everything to do with the results.

The full survey summary is available online at and is part of the larger Intermountain West Energy Sustainability and Transitions (I-WEST) initiative.

HOLD ON! Let's take a look at the last part of that last sentence.

Portrait of young man with shocked facial expression.
Alihan Usullu

Intermountain West Energy Sustainability and Transitions (I-WEST) initiative.

I looked them up online and found: The Intermountain West Energy Sustainability & Transitions (I-WEST) initiative is developing a technology roadmap to transition the region to an economically sustainable, carbon-neutral energy system.

So this group is all about transitioning the economy into something "carbon natural."

AH, there is that buzzword, "SUSTAINABILITY." That plays into those who want to make it sound like what they are doing  will "save the planet."

Then there is the word "TRANSITIONS." Once again we can see the goal. They want to transition to something they see as "sustainable." It's in their name.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In their own charter, they say: developing a technology roadmap to transition the region to an economically sustainable, carbon-neutral energy system.

So now that we see what their goal is we have a better understanding of what results they want from such a survey of public opinion.

So can we trust the results of the "survey?"

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Special thanks to Grandpa Rich of Thermopolis Wyoming for these photos.

Each morning Grandpa drives up to check on the herd in Hot Springs County Wyoming.

As he drives around he takes photos and sends them to me.

An audience of 1 is not enough.

That's why I'm sharing them with you.

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