CHEYENNE – During his live news conference today, Governor Matt Mead reported on some key topics and recent developments for Wyoming. This included the announcement that Ramaco LLC filed a permit application with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to open the first new coal mine in over 50 years in Sheridan County. The mine is about 15,000 acres in size.
“A study prepared by WWC Engineering of Sheridan says that the mine will create almost 600 new direct and indirect jobs in Sheridan County, with over $30 million in annual new wages and over $464 million of total wages over the mine’s life,” Governor Mead said. “This is a tremendous development for Wyoming’s economy and will benefit the country as we provide affordable and abundant power.”
Governor Mead gave an update on the Integrated Test Center project that would add value to carbon dioxide from a Wyoming coal-fired power plant. This would be used to create other products such as petrochemicals, graphene or artificial sweeteners. Companies have been providing expertise and helping to provide the necessary funding to bring this project to completion.
“If you can turn CO2 into an asset it would be a big boost, not only for coal but for the products that slip stream could produce,” Governor Mead said.
Today, Governor Mead attended a cord cutting for the new Microsoft data center powered by a fuel cell using biogas from the Dry Creek Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne.
“The plant uses renewable biogas to fuel Microsoft’s data center that is there. It is a zero-emissions effort,” Governor Mead said. “This is very exciting, not only because of the data center, but very exciting in being able to use that facility to create biogas to fuel the data center and to help power the treatment facility.”
Governor Mead reported that internet connectivity through the Unified Network is moving faster than anticipated.
“We have increased broadband connectivity to our schools exponentially. When I took office only two counties in the state had Ethernet capacity, now all 23 have Ethernet capacity,” Governor Mead said.
Governor Mead discussed the complaint made against Campbell County Sheriff Bill Pownall.
“As I looked through material and looked at the complaint I am certainly very troubled,” Governor Mead said. “So my announcement is that I am going to direct the Attorney General to commence a prosecuting action, in the district court of which the officer is an official, asking for removal of the officer.”
On the topic of highway fatalities, the Governor noted that of the 129 deaths this year 41 have been alcohol and drug related. Governor Mead applauded the work of the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving for the creation of the Drive Sober Wyoming smartphone app.
“This smartphone app is meant to help reduce impaired driving by allowing for texting a friend, phoning a friend, finding a taxi, and it provides the laws and penalties related to impaired driving. The next phase will be an app, that we have been working to put together to prevent texting while driving,” Governor Mead said.