An Introduction to the Wyoming Energy Strategy
Our collective charge is to power and fuel the economic well-being of our state and supply energy to the nation while protecting our environment. There are few things as important or challenging as accomplishing this mission.
The government’s role in this effort is to create an efficient problem-solving mindset, increase the coordination and efficiencies within and between agencies, and create policies that allow markets to operate efficiently and soundly. This framework must balance the needs and interests of energy, the environment, and the economy. Government should not dictate energy production levels by favoring one type of energy production over another or by influencing private, market-based actions.
Unfortunately, there is not this type of framework in place at the federal level. At least seven White House entities, a dozen or more federal agencies, and 16 congressional committees have jurisdiction over some aspect of energy policy. Federal efforts to coordinate energy regulation, land management, and planning are sometimes unwieldy and at cross-purposes to one another. Our economy, employment and natural resource management suffer with the adoption of unnecessary or unachievable regulations, thwarting energy security, fuel diversity, conservation, power reliability, price stability, infrastructure, and technology investments.
A cohesive, well-understood plan for energy and the environment is vital to America’s economic competitiveness and expansion. In the absence of a federal plan, it is all the more important that states develop their own strategies. In Wyoming, the Legislature and no fewer than 17 executive branch agencies have a role in managing the efforts to strengthen and improve the interconnections between Wyoming’s energy, environment and economy. This makes a Wyoming Action Plan all the more important in leading the charge toward a cohesive energy strategy.
The Creation of an Energy & Environment Blueprint
In 2012, the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC), chaired by Governor Matthew H. Mead, released a blueprint for energy and the environment. The introduction to the blueprint, signed by 32 governors, states: “We are committed to protecting the environment while providing reliable and affordable energy. Our nation’s energy policy must reflect these goals, and the states are better positioned than the federal government to lead the drive toward these objectives because they are closely connected to the needs of their states’ citizens as well as the unique circumstances impacting their environment.”
Principles of the 2012 RGPPC Blueprint
Energy security that ensures a stable and reliable supply for our citizens, manufacturing, power generation, transportation and industrial bases.
Environmental cooperation that protects the state-federal partnership, provides for sustainable environmental protection, acknowledges the environmental gains supported by economic progress, and ensures that state governments play the primary role in regulation.
Energy affordability that allows all Americans to take advantage of our country’s robust energy resources to power communities and create jobs.
Energy as an economic driver that powers modern civilization.