The Wyoming House is ready to fund $430 million for Governor Mark Gordon's energy projects.

But the Senate wants to defund those programs.

This is a big chunk of the roughly $1.1 billion difference between their budget goals.

The Joint Conference Committee has let the Senate know what they think of this spending as a priority.

But the Senate worries about leaving so much money as "discretionary spending" to the executive branch.

There is a lot of disagreement between the government picking winners and losers in the energy industry and allowing the free market to pick the most affordable and reliable energy for the state and the nation.

The money in question is part of what is considered matching funds for Wyoming to compete for billions of dollars in energy production. It's considered an "all of the above approach" in electricity production and includes efforts to “decarbonize” organic fuels like coal, gas, and oil.

Electricity power line in West Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Governor Gordon has already awarded tens of millions of dollars toward carbon capture and other projects in Wyoming.

Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle), introduced the Senate File 1 amendment 1S-3041 to defund these programs.

She disagrees with the governor's opinion that Wyoming needs to curb greenhouse gas emissions and does not believe that Wyoming must produce lower-carbon energy.

Some formerly approved grants and even the program itself could be cut.

Energy Authority Executive Director Rob Creager spoke with WyoFile about the importance of budget cuts and priorities.

“We are going to be very transparent with the applicants that this is taking place and that the Senate amendment reads this way,” Creager told WyoFile on Monday.

“And so if that were to stay in the budget, unfortunately, those dollars would not be there by the time the governor may or may not approve you.”



Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) argued that Wyoming's spending authority should remain with the Legislature.

“Do we want to be legislating and appropriating these funds or do we want the sole discretion of the governor to make these decisions for us?” Steinmetz said in support of the amendment.

“I would like us to be involved in these decisions when we’re dealing with this amount of funding.” (WyoFile).

If the amendment remains in the budget, it would sweep all three appropriations back into budgeting and savings accounts, minus funds that have already been spent.

Part of the resistance comes from what an expensive failure carbon capture has turned out to be.

There is also a major battle and much disagreement in the scientific community as to whether CO2 is causing a "climate crisis."

At the Western Governors’ Association's annual meeting, Governor Mark Gordon was elected as chairman.

As the new Chair, Governor Gordon identified carbon capture utilization and sequestration as his Initiative.

Governor Gordon stated, “Our world needs energy and a clean environment–neither is well served if we are not honest about consequences and challenges. Ignoring CCUS as a viable option to decarbonize the grid creates an energy gap. Shuttering coal-fired power plants before alternative resources are fully developed will exacerbate power shortages, brownouts and blackouts, higher fuel costs and higher-priced electricity.”

After billions of dollars have already been spent over decades with no actual carbon capture success.  The Petra Nova coal plant in Texas finally closed for good last year. It was a complete failure.

Carbon Capture Is An Expensive Failure.

Oil Rig and Worker

The San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico was once the biggest capture project in the world. It's closing.

The U.S. Department of Energy spent $6.9 billion on the feasibility of CCS for coal. Nothing came of it.

Carbon Capture Takes A Lot Of Energy.

CCS takes a new power plant to run the system. That's using more energy to get rid of what they're trying to get rid of.

Governor Gordon wants Wyoming to team up with Colorado on direct capture.

Those systems are expensive to create, require a lot of energy to run, and don't actually capture enough to make any meaningful difference.


Carbon Capture Increases Emissions... Wait, what?

The way these systems are currently set up they produce more CO2 than the system removes. 

If they think that the power to run the system can be run by wind farms, they are sadly mistaken.

“Succesful” capture projects only exist at facilities where the carbon is injected into existing wells to extract more oil. This is referred to as “enhanced oil recovery.”

Past Storage Failures

Failure during injection has caused blowouts that resulted in large amounts of CO2 leaking back into the air.

A CO2 pipeline in Mississippi ruptured last year.

Traditional Wyoming Soda Shop Treats

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

Wake Up Wyoming App Secrets

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It also has loads of options that you can take advantage of to keep up with the show as well as news, weather, and road conditions.

Here is what is available and how these options work.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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