Mineral production has been a part of Carbon County's culture for more than 100 years. Crude oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, copper, gold, silver and iron deposits have been discovered here. In recent decades, Carbon County has been able to tap into their oldest and largest source of renewable energy--wind.
The petroleum industry has been exploring for oil and gas in Wyoming for over 135 years.
The HF Sinclair Corporation (HF Sinclair) is Carbon County's top employer, employing over 500 people annually. Located in Sinclair, the refinery produces 85,000-barrels of oil per day. HF Sinclair is a diversified, innovative energy company that manufactures and sells products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, renewable diesel, specialty lubricant products, specialty chemicals, and specialty and modified asphalt, among others.
Wyoming ranks among the top 10 states in both natural gas reserves and marketed natural gas production. Two-thirds of the state's natural gas is produced on federal lands leased by energy companies.
In Carbon County, there are currently two natural gas production projects: the Atlantic Rim Natural Gas Development and the Continental Divide/Creston Natural Gas Development. The projects are managed by the Bureau of Land Management Rawlins Field Office.
Wyoming has some of the greatest wind resources in the nation, especially in Carbon County.
Power Company of Wyoming LLC's Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is the largest wind energy development in the county, with the potential to generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
PacifiCorp's Foote Creek Rim I , TB Flats, and the Ekola Flats wind energy projects, which generate 495 megawatts of electricity, are located near Medicine Bow. Wind energy projects in Carbon County pay property taxes and electricity generation taxes annually. Carbon County receives more than $500,000 a year just from the electricity taxes paid.
According to the American Clean Power Association in 2021, two-thirds of all of Wyoming’s existing and under-construction wind power capacity was located in Carbon County. ACP also reported that Wyoming had 3,179 MW of existing wind power capacity, 1,168 MW of which was located in Carbon County.
The TransWest Express Transmission Project and PacifiCorp's Energy Gateway West and Energy Gateway South transmission lines plan to transport Carbon County's clean and sustainable electric energy throughout the West.
The TransWest Express transmission project will create about 200 construction jobs and 20-30 permanent, good-paying jobs. When complete, the Energy Gateway South transmission project will average about 118 workers during the 26 months of construction.
On August 2, 2013, Lost Creek ISR, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ur-Energy USA Inc., began uranium production activities at its Lost Creek In Situ Mine north of Rawlins, WY. Innovative design and development have focused on employee and environmental safety, water management practices, and advanced instrumentation monitoring and data capture. First sales of Lost Creek yellowcake were made in December 2013. Since production activities began, Lost Creek production has totaled 2.7 million pounds from its first two mine units. These are the first two of twelve currently planned mine units. Ur-Energy now has nine licensed mine units, with six additional mine units having been added to the Lost Creek license in Q1 2021. Ur-Energy expects to have all permits and authorizations for the LC East/KM expansions in 2022. The 2021 license amendment also increases the license limit for annual plant production to 2.2 million pounds U3O8 which includes wellfield production of up to 1.2 million pounds U3O8 and toll processing up to one million pounds U3O8.
Wyoming has 20 hydropower dams, two of which are located in Carbon County: Seminoe Dam and Kortes Dam. The Seminoe Dam and Powerplant is the first dam on the North Platte River. Kortes Dam is located roughly two miles downstream from Seminoe Dam. The dams have supplied electricity to the West for over 80 years.