Energy Bills in the 2021 Wyoming Legislative Session
The Wyoming State Legislature worked through a plethora of energy bills during the 66th General Legislative Session and six of note made it through the entire process.
In addition to the bills listed below, the Legislature allocated $10 million to be available as cost match for research grants and contracts related to carbon capture, utilization, and storage. These funds have the potential to give Wyoming an edge when competing for federal funds or to incentivize researchers to conduct their testing in the state instead of other states or countries.
As a top energy producing state, Wyoming legislators continue to show support for Wyoming’s energy sectors. During this upcoming interim, we’ll see discussion on topics important to the energy industry and to Wyoming’s continued work to lead the way on energy technology development and innovation.
Bills that directly affect Wyoming Energy Authority
SF43 – Wyoming Energy Authority Amendments expands WEA’s operating areas to include geothermal and pumped hydro projects; and expands WEA’s bonding authority to include rare earth elements, critical minerals, and trona.
We expect that during the Legislative interim there will be a review of WEA’s bonding program and there may be additional adjustments made to ensure the program is suited to best assist projects moving forward and to the benefit of Wyoming and her citizens.
Bills that impact Wyoming’s energy industry
HB166-Utilities-presumption against facility retirements requires that the Public Services Commission shall not approve the retirement of an electric generation facility unless the public utility can provide evidence that there will be significant cost savings to customers and that it will not result in a lack of available electricity that is reliable and dispatchable.
HB207-Coal fired generation facility closures-litigation funding appropriates $1.2 million for Wyoming’s Attorney General to have the ability to pursue litigation against other states that enact laws that block Wyoming’s ability to export coal or that cause the early retirement of coal-fired generation facilities.
SF136-Public service commission considerations expands the considerations for the Public Service Commission to include reliability and any associated costs that may affect consumer rates with the retirement of major facilities or construction of new facilities.
SF152-Connection of utility services prohibits cities, towns, and counties from enacting laws and policies that would prevent the connection or reconnection of an electric, natural gas, propane or other energy utility service by a public utility.
HB189-Mine product taxes for natural gas consumed on-site clarifies that natural gas that is consumed on-site and would have been otherwise flared is exempt from taxation as long as it comes from a qualifying well.
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