Governor and Legislators Launch Effort to Maximize Economic Growth of Emerging Energy Projects

Governor and Legislators Launch Effort to Maximize Economic Growth of Emerging Energy Projects

Wyoming Legislative Chambers. Michael Shane Smith photo

CHEYENNE — Governor Mark Gordon is announcing a joint collaboration between his office and the Wyoming Legislature that will keep Wyoming on the forefront of the energy frontier. Together the Governor’s Office and the Wyoming Legislature will jointly fund an energy development manager, a position that will work collaboratively with companies, policymakers and lawmakers.

“We have seen added interest from the private sector in bringing large-scale projects to Wyoming. These are multi-billion dollar investments and our goal is to leverage those so we can create the most Wyoming jobs and expand sectors of the economy through better coordination,” said Governor Gordon. “Our energy partners are bringing innovative, new ideas to the table. We need to be ready to support them in any way we can.”

To help recognize new energy sector opportunities, coordinate the efforts that are already in Wyoming, and those coming to the state, the energy development manager will act as the go-between with companies, state agencies and policymakers. The position will coordinate with the Wyoming Energy Authority, Wyoming Business Council, the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources and will monitor trends in the sector, help eliminate overlap with existing efforts, and work with policy and lawmakers to identify policy or law changes that may need to occur to advance new opportunities. The position and support funding is coming from one-time federal dollars. 

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“What we know is there are a lot of new and exciting opportunities coming at us fast in the energy and tech industries,” said Representative Don Burkhart, one of the key legislators that has been pushing for this joint position. “We want to work closely with the Governor’s Office to make sure we are well positioned to adjust laws or create new ones for new industries or technologies if needed. We know companies are shopping for a home and we want that home to be Wyoming.”   

The person hired into this position will have a significant amount of private sector management experience. They will develop a strategy and develop areas of focus. Those will include:

  • Coal and carbon capture. 
  • Oil and gas. 
  • Nuclear energy and uranium. 
  • Rare earth minerals. 
  • Hydrogen. 
  • Renewables

“There’s a lot of good work already happening around the state, it’s just been siloed,” said Representative Lloyd Larsen, another Wyoming legislator supporting this position. “You’ve got state agencies doing the permitting and paperwork, you’ve got County governments talking to the companies about local taxes and project siting, you’ve got private Wyoming businesses that either are getting new business or don’t know there could be an opportunity to get work and this all happening at the same time.”

“Wyoming’s energy industry has been the economic driver of this state for over sixty years,” said Governor Gordon. “And as we look to the future of what the energy and tech industries can look like for the next sixty, it’s more diverse and technologically advanced than ever before. This position will help us move into Wyoming’s new energy and technology frontier as strategically and efficiently as possible.”