Free expo June 22 and 23 in Gillette gives public insight into energy

A front facing view of the Wyoming Center at the Cam-Plex. The doors in the picture lead to Frontier Hall. (Photo: County 17 / Brooke Byelich)
A front facing view of the Wyoming Center at the Cam-Plex. The doors in the picture lead to Frontier Hall. (Photo: County 17 / Brooke Byelich)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Energy Exposition returns to Gillette June 22 to 23.

Any community members who want to learn more about the energy industry and its impact on the state’s economy are welcome to check out the event, which will take place at the CAM-PLEX, at 1635 Reata Drive.

“We want everyone to come,” The Energy Exposition Producer Kit Jennings said.

Twenty-two years ago, the event began as the Coalbed Education Fair to address misunderstandings about coalbed methane, Jennings said. There were 15 tables where government agencies that somehow related to coalbed methane, and there were panel discussions where audience members could have their questions answered. A bus tour allowed about 300 people to see that there wasn’t a wall of water sweeping across the basin, Jennings said.

“And we just grew from there,” he said.

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Event organizers saw that coalbed was kind of declining so they renamed the event The Energy Exposition. This year, the event has about 80 booths where visitors can learn more from people involved in the industry, Jennings said.

The event’s mission is two-fold: training oil and gas industry members and teaching the public about the industry.

“We’ve found over the years that that kind of public education really gives people a better understanding of what we do in the fossil fuels industry and what it does for the state,” he said.

This year, Wyoming Energy Authority Executive Director Glen Murrell will moderate several presentations, expanding the conversation to include other energy producers, such as hydrogen, in addition to oil and gas. Steven Lupien, director of the Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation at University of Wyoming Director, will moderate a panel discussion of crypto in the energy industry. An event schedule is posted here.

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Admission is free. Online registration is encouraged and recommended, but last-minute arrivals are also welcomed, Jennings said.

There will also be an industry networking dinner at 5:30 p.m. June 22. Tickets are $100. Gov. Mark Gordon and Generation Hemp CEO Gary Evans will speak at that portion of that event. Epstein was scheduled to appear but will not be available.

Correction, June 17, 2022: A previous version of this story listed 2019 as the last year that the event occurred in Gillette, as the event’s website had stated. Jennings explained the last year of the event was actually in 2021. The story has been corrected.

UPDATE: Center for Industrial Progress President and Founder Alex Epstein was originally scheduled to attend and speak, but will not be available to do so. The story has been updated.

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.