Twenty-four stories high, the big building was more than twice as tall as the Federal Center in Cheyenne, which is higher than Wyoming’s capitol dome. Rising beside the generating plant were four freestanding columnar chimneys so tall that they were obscured in cumulus from the cooling towers, which swirled and billowed and from time to time parted to reveal the summits of the chimneys, five hundred feet in the air. “This place is smoking the hell out of the country,” Love said. “The wind blows a plume of corruption. In cold weather, sulphuric acid precipitates as a yellow cloud. It’s not so good for people, or for vegetation. Whenever I think of this plant, I feel sadness and frustration. We could have got baseline data on air and water quality before the plant was built, and we muffed it.” He blames himself, although at that time he had arsenic poisoning from springwater in the backcountry and was sick for many months. The idea behind Jim Bridger was to ship energy out of Wyoming in wires instead of railway gondolas. Ballerina towers, with electric drapery on their outstretched arms, ran from point to point to the end of perspective, relieving pressure on the Oregon-Idaho grid. The coal was zakelijke energie in the Fort Union formation-in a sense, the bottom layer of modem time. Locally, it was the basal rock of the Cenozoic, the first formation after the Cretaceous Extinction-when the big animals were gone, but not their woods and vegetal swamps. Wyoming had drifted a few hundred miles farther north than it is now, and around the low swamplands were rising forests of oak, elm, and pine. The terrain was near sea level. Mountains had begun to stir-Uintas, Wind Rivers, Owl Creeks, Medicine Bows-and zakelijke energie vergelijken off their young slopes they shed the Fort Union, its muds burying the compiled vegetation, cutting off oxygen, preserving the carbon. As the mountains themselves became buried, the fallen vegetation in the thickening basins was ever more covered as well, to depths and pressures that caused it to become a soft and flaky sub-bituminous low-rent grade of coal, a nonetheless combustible low-sulphur coal.