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Northam responded later that day, admitting he wasn't aware of the sculpture prior to the uproar over it. He was surprised at Hinchey's comments, he said, considering UW and the School of Energy Resources' close partnership with industry on energy research and education.

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Hinchey sent his message to a number of Wyoming oil and gas business, civic leaders and university donors.

restrict the university's funding, called for a hunt to find out Air Huarache Triple Red Womens which university officials knew about the sculpture ahead of time and decried the university for not knowing about the piece.

Reporters were quick to call industry officials for their thoughts.

State legislators joined the attack. Legislators, primarily from coal rich Campbell County, wrote university officials. They threatened to Huarache Nike Womens Sale

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"I think most of us believe that the university should not censor art or other forms Nike Huarache Shoes Black And White

Bruce Hinchey, president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, fired off an email to oil and gas company officials and major university donors slamming the university for the sculpture.

The news wasn't presented as anything particularly controversial: A Nike Air Huarache Tech Fleece

The energy industry pays millions in taxes, royalties and fees, he noted. Left unsaid: Those millions flow through state coffers to the university.

Drury built the 36 foot wide sculpture under a commission from the UW Campus Public Art Committee. The approximately $45,000 piece was paid for by an anonymous donor and the Wyoming Cultural Trust. Drury's project description didn't mention climate change or the coal industry.

The emails, obtained through Wyoming open records laws, detail university officials scrambling to deal with the backlash from news of the sculpture's installation by British artist Chris Drury at the intersection of 10th and Ivinson streets in Laramie.

"I hope that a headline and artist's statement about a piece of art, designed to inflame, do not change that," he wrote Teeuwen. "If so, we all lose out."

The sculpture felt like a "stab in the back," said Wyoming Mining Association President Marion Loomis, in an email that day to Don Richards, then the university's director for governmental and community affairs.

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Top university officials, including at least one trustee, worked the phones to answer concerns from coal companies, including Peabody Energy and Cloud Peak Energy. Peabody wrote that the sculpture threatened its willingness to donate $2 million.

"The next time the University of Wyoming is asking for donations it might be helpful to remind them of this and other things they have done to the industries that feed them before you donate," Hinchey wrote. "They always hide behind academic freedom but their policies and actions can change if they so choose."

Emails show Buchanan approved the sculpture, was kept up to date on its installation, and decided the sculpture should be removed a year earlier than planned "given the controversy that it has generated," he wrote in an email. The university didn't announce the sculpture's removal.

The July 12, 2011, news release from the university about the art piece hit like a hand grenade.

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new sculpture was under construction a large swirl of charred, beetle killed wood and chunks of coal, a meditation on the evolution of the geological and natural cycle of life. It was part of a temporary art exhibition arranged by the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

One influential legislator threatened the university's funding, and later the committee of senators and representatives in charge of budget decisions demanded an accounting of art at the university, both what it was and how it was paid for.

Emails first requested by Wyoming Public Radio and later obtainedby the Star Tribune show that the decision to remove "Carbon Sink: What Goes Around, Comes Around" from the campus was made by UW President Tom Buchanan before the piece was damaged and a full year before the piece's dismantling was due.

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The decision to remove the flat whirlpool of coal and charred Wyoming wood sinking into the earth was the last in a number of steps top university officials took to calm angry state legislators, energy industry donors and trade group representatives.

of expression and that free speech is inviolate," Teeuwen wrote. "It's something about which we need to occasionally remind our stakeholders."

UW officials called a Peabody vice president to cover a range of talking points that defended the sculpture, took responsibility for it and acknowledged how valuable extractive industries were to the state.

"Don, what kind of crap is this?" Loomis asked.

"It'll be a slog for all of us," one university official wrote in an email after the news of the sculpture broke.

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The reaction was swift and fierce. Whatever the artist's original goals for the piece, it looked anti coal. It seemed to forge a link between coal and environmental destruction and seemed like a visual rebuke to the coal industry in a state where coal mining employs thousands and pay millions in taxes, royalties and fees.

University of Wyoming officials sped up the removal of a controversial anti coal sculpture because of the furor it caused, but chose to tell the public the removal was as scheduled and because of water damage, emails show.

University of Wyoming officials sped up

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One group of people was notified, though. As workers demolished the sculpture, a top university official emailed legislators in Campbell County, the heart of Wyoming's coal country, to let them know the sculpture labeled "insulting" by one of the lawmakers would soon be gone.

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Mark Northam, the director of the UW School of Energy Resources, wrote an email to other university officials worrying that the clamor over the sculpture was threatening $4 million in donations.

Randy Teeuwen of Encana forwarded Hinchey's comments to a number of university officials, including Northam, the day the news of the sculpture broke. Hinchey's email had been "widely distributed," Teeuwen said, and he suggested the industry would like to hear from UW on the topic.

"It never ceases to amaze me how the UW invites folks in that spit in the face of the very system that writes the checks to pay the bills at the university," wrote Rep. Elaine Harvey, R Lovell, in an email to Buchanan.

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Teeuwen wrote back reassuring Northam and the others, calling UW and Encana's relationship "on firm footing."

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