- Promote coal, oil and natural gas production
- Coordinate and facilitate energy development
- Encourage value-added energy projects
- Oppose cap and trade legislation
- Support wind and other alternatives to diversify and expand the energy economy
When it comes to energy, Wyoming has it all – oil, gas, coal, uranium, wind, as well as others. Oil, gas and coal have long provided, and will continue to provide, financial abundance to the state. These industries must continue to be supported and promoted. We need to further diversify our energy industry. I am encouraged by the growing wind energy industry in Wyoming and the resurgence of uranium production.
Because our country does not have a good or comprehensive energy policy, Wyoming must lead, not simply wait and follow the federal government. Wyoming needs to coordinate and facilitate energy development, to include all energy resources as well as mining products such as coal, trona, bentonite, gypsum, and soda ash.
As Governor, I will work to use Wyoming expertise and Wyoming people for such efforts.
With coordinated efforts, our State will be able to maximize energy development in a responsible, reasoned way and prevent haphazard growth, while providing a predictable path to those companies seeking to invest in Wyoming. Energy developers should not have to deal with multiple state agencies with different agendas.
Wyoming should be forward-looking and focus not just on extracting and transporting natural resources but also creating electricity here and then going further to find industry that will use the electricity within Wyoming – value-added energy projects. We should also plan to supplement, with gas-fired turbines, our State’s wind resources, which are excellent — among the nation’s best — but still not constant. We should plan for transmission lines and collector lines so such lines do not, for lack of planning, end up looking like spaghetti.
As Governor, I will deal with the energy of today and tomorrow. We need to be proactive. I am unconvinced that climate change is man-made, but I do recognize we may face challenges presented by those who propose and believe they can change our climate by law with ill-thought-out policy like cap and trade (the latest version of which is the Senate Climate Bill, S. 1733, unveiled May 12th). Energy policy should be based on sound science and not political agendas. We must fight cap and trade because coal, gas, and oil are critical to our state and country. But, we must also prepare for change – such as the eventuality of carbon capture – and continue research and development so we are prepared for what the future brings and capitalize on it.
A coordinated State energy policy should include measures to minimize the effect of energy development on private property rights. We live in a checkerboard state, so we must work collectively between state, private and public lands. When we look at transmission corridors in Wyoming, the federal government must come to the table and act in good faith. The best route should be sited, not what is most convenient for the federal land management agencies. Eminent domain should only be used as a last resort.
It is disgraceful we do not have more nuclear plants in the United States. Our State’s energy policy should include coordination with and support for the uranium industry in Wyoming. Wyoming will be the supplier of nuclear fuel for the rest of the nation’s low emission, nuclear power.
The energy industry needs long-term certainty in order to fully invest in our State. We need to take a hard look at how these industries such as wind are taxed. I supported looking at excises taxes rather than excessive sales taxes to encourage investment. I was the only candidate that supported a reasonable, graduated excise tax on wind generation to benefit counties, because development impacts are felt locally and that was where the tax revenues should go. The legislature did pass a tax on electricity generated from wind, of $1/megawatt hour with a delayed effective date on or after 1/1/2012, 60% of the tax to be distributed to counties where the generating facility is located and 40% going to the general fund. I was disappointed that not all the revenue will go to the counties, but was glad to see the State move in the direction of a fair tax on wind — one not designed to kill a burgeoning industry in its infancy. The Task Force on Wind Energy is looking at possible changes to eminent domain laws for wind collector lines, with a report expected before year’s end, and I support changes that balance the interests of all stakeholders.
Wyoming should be the first door anyone knocks on for energy needs. As Governor, I will make sure it is.
As Governor, I will see that our State has a coordinated policy for energy development, which includes and takes into account available research to keep our State pristine and which includes alternatives to diversify the energy economy. I will also see that the policy gets implemented so energy development proceeds in accordance with it.