Friday, July 17, 2020
Wyoming budget hammered by coal decline, pandemic-spurred drop in oil and gas production and prices
Coal production and jobs have been declining for years, hurting local economies that depend on it. Meanwhile, the pandemic triggered a worldwide drop in energy demand, which meant bottoming out oil and gas production and prices. At the epicenter of both trends sits Wyoming.
Right now, minerals are directly responsible for about two-thirds of the state's revenue. The state's Republican governor, Mark Gordon, said at a press conference Wednesday that one-third of the state's income is gone, that he has no way to raise revenue, and that he must make cuts in order to balance the budget, Lucia reports. He rejected a suggestion that the state could dip into its rainy day fund: "That might last for about a year, and then we have nothing to fall back on."