A pioneer turns a potent greenhouse gas into our atmospheric ally

A shifted career path put Tom Vessels at the forefront of addressing the monstrous challenge of methane. Photo by Allen Best. Tom Vessels was eulogized last Friday afternoon at the Pavilion at Denver’s City Park. As sunshine streamed in the windows, stories were told about his thirst for adventure, his backpacking trips, his devotion to family, even a ribald tale about something he said at a beer festival. 

Only the briefest allusion was made to what may have been Vessels’ remarkable turn in life. He had followed his father into the business of natural gas.

Utilities continue to shove coal to the side and see renewables as the way the wind is blowing

The Martin-Drake Coal plant in Colorado Springs will process its last lump of coal Friday. The Martin Drake Power Plant will burn its last load of coal Friday, ending a century of coal-burning near downtown Colorado Springs. All but one of Colorado’s remaining coal plants will also close in this decade. What will replace the electricity generated by coal combustion in times when neither the wind blows nor the sun shines? The answers remain unclear.