Wyoming has unique values that should be reflected in an energy strategy. Wyoming is proud of its strong outdoor ethic and close connection to the land. We are an innovative, industrious and independent state. Our small towns are vibrant and special places. We are essentially all neighbors and we must work together cooperatively.
The air we breathe, the water we drink, and our ability to enjoy pursuits—whether we fish, hunt, photograph, or recreate—directly influence the quality of our lives. In the absence of a federal energy policy, states must lead the way.
The vision for Wyoming is for the state to achieve excellence in energy development, production, and stewardship of its natural resources for the highest benefit of its citizens. The following four strategic themes help sort issues and opportunities for realizing our vision of achieving excellence for the highest benefit of Wyoming.
Maintaining our position as a world-class energy producer entails competitively producing, adding value to, selling, and transporting our energy resources. Infrastructure maintenance and expansion are required if we are to maintain current production levels and move our resources to market. The same infrastructure that was built for our existing energy industry has the potential to draw new businesses and create new opportunities.
Clarifying rules and expectations for industry, protecting the state’s resources, and providing security to the public are hallmarks of efficient and effective regulation. Efficient regulation also avoids duplication by multiple levels of government or agencies. Identifying which government entity has regulatory responsibility enhances timely, defensible decisions and enforcement. Stated simply, questions of who is responsible for what—and when—should be readily apparent to the public and responsible agencies.
Achieving excellence in the protection of natural resources, reclaiming impacted land and water, and improving existing habitats require more than maintaining the status quo. Through inventorying resources, planning and management, we can both use and improve natural resources. Establishing baselines and measuring trends will help to establish reclamation goals and set expectations for mitigation measures to offset effects. In the long term, development can become a net benefit when mitigation efforts protect and improve additional areas, and when reclamation returns disturbed lands to their previous condition or better. When government sets reasonable expectations, individuals and companies have the flexibility to innovate and find solutions in a fair, market-driven process.
Wyoming’s people are our most important resource, and a brighter tomorrow will come from developing ideas, initiatives and workforce today. Students are our future workers, developers and leaders. They will benefit from knowledge about the state’s primary industry, its contribution to the state, and potential career opportunities. Professional development of the existing workforce will enhance job performance and lead to increases in productivity and safety. Investing in people and technologies today will pay future dividends.