According to new estimates from the Governor’s office, plugging abandoned oil and gas wells in Wyoming could cost anywhere from $8 to $32 million.
The smaller figure takes into account only wells that the state knows are abandoned. The larger one includes wells owned by bankrupt methane farming company Luca Technologies and the 2300 wells the state considers ‘at risk’ for abandonment.
Last week Wyoming governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget for the next two years. The governor joins us to discuss something he did not recommend and discusses other topics, such as whether he will run for re-election.
The Governor is recommending two-point-five percent pay raises for University of Wyoming and state employees, for each of the next two years.
Governor Matt Mead is also proposing one-time two percent pay hikes for Community College and K-12 Education employees. The governor made the recommendations in his proposed two year budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. Mead says it’s been several years since state and U-W employees have received a raise.
On Tuesday, Wyoming joined the growing list of states that will require groundwater testing at oil and gas wells before and after drilling occurs. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted to require three rounds of testing at water wells within a half-mile of the drilling pad.
Companies will have to test for a variety of potential contaminants in the water, from volatile organic compounds to bacteria. In comments following the vote, Governor Matt Mead praised his fellow commissioners for approving the rules.
The main revenue forecasting arm for the state of Wyoming called 2013 a solid year economically. Thanks to investments it means the state raised almost 350 million dollars over projections. But the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG says while this is great news, problems may be on the horizon. The legislative committee tasked with developing the state’s budget wants to be cautious. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…
Wyoming continues to be interested in being a test site for the possible domestic use of drones.
During a news conference this week, Governor Matt Mead said that Drones are already being tested at Camp Guernsey and he’s excited about the technology aspect of the testing. But Mead is a little more concerned about some legal issues surrounding Drones.
“We wanna make sure in the state of Wyoming, what are the privacy rights? How are these things going to be used?”
Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Governor Matt Mead to check in about some big changes in the state in the coming months. Her first question was about the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on contaminated water in Pavillion and the state’s takeover of the study.
Though the entities involved in the study have previously expressed skepticism over the EPA’s findings, Governor Mead says he has no doubts that the state’s study will be unbiased.
Take a look at the many on-goings during StoryCorps Opening Day in Cheyenne on July 12. Everyone at Wyoming Public Media had a role to play in the StoryCorps launch and the event went off without a hitch. From the press that were invited, to the live interviews and the conversations held, there was never a dull moment.
Governor Matt Mead is hoping to create a ten-year plan to address homelessness in Wyoming. As a first step in the process, the Department of Family Services has appointed a homelessness coordinator. Her name is Brenda Lyttle.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with her. Lyttle says her first task will be to identify what services are already available to homeless individuals in different communities in Wyoming.
Governor Matt Mead and First Lady Carol Mead say they hope a hard hitting media campaign will reduce the number of alcohol related crashes and deaths in the state.
The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving is rolling out advertisements that emphasize how much it costs to get cited for drunken driving, and that people convicted of the crime stand may lose their license. It will also focus on the eight members of the U-W track team that were killed by a drunk driver.
Governor Matt Mead and his policy director, Shawn Reese, released an energy policy for Wyoming at a press conference today. The policy contains 47 initiatives broken down into categories including economic competitiveness and expansion, regulation, conservation, and education. Reese said there were a number of hallmark initiatives.
The University of Wyoming has sent Governor Matt Mead a blueprint to transform the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a top program nationwide.
In December, Governor Matt Mead’s Energy, Engineering and STEM Integration Task force released its report on how to turn the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a Tier One academic and research institution. Mead then asked UW to come up with, what Associate Provost Andrew Hansen calls, ‘the dream’ vision for achieving that goal.
As the Wyoming legislative session winds down, Governor Matt Mead joins us to give his thoughts on the session. We start with the budget, where the governor vetoed three items. One area of concern is the lack of funding lawmakers gave the governor for forest fires and another is the legislature’s insistence that agencies propose more budget cuts. Governor Mead tells Bob Beck that can wait…
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has line item vetoed three areas of the state supplemental budget. The governor vetoed a section that involved the management of surplus state money and he vetoed a section that required state agencies to consider more budget cuts. Mead says it doesn’t make sense for agencies to re-do that exercise, especially since it’s possible that the state may get more revenue.
In the State of the State address today, Governor Mead reiterated his proposal to redirect more money from severance taxes into the ‘rainy day account.’ One percent of severance taxes currently goes into the permanent mineral trust fund, but Governor Mead wants it to go into a legislative savings account instead.
House Minority Leader, Mary Throne, has spoken out against having a rainy day fund so large, noting that it currently contains $5 billion. She says they need to determine how much they actually need to save.
Governor Matt Mead said in his State of the State address Wednesday that lawmakers need to think further about Medicaid expansion in the state and to develop a plan specifically for Wyoming. Department of Health Director, Tom Forslund, said the state would save about $50 million over six years under a full expansion.
House Majority Floor leader Kermit Brown says there are still too many unknowns in the federal rules for the Affordable Care Act that could hurt Wyoming.
This week Governor Matt Mead told the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee that he is proposing cutting 60 million dollars out of the current state budget and he wants to eliminate a number of vacant government positions. He also wants to build the legislative savings account up to $3 billion, raise gas taxes by ten cents a gallon and he opposes expanding Medicaid services in the state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that legislators have mixed reactions about the governor’s key proposals.
According to a study conducted for the state of Wyoming, expanding Medicaid could cost the state millions.
Governor Matt Mead says the study shows that the Affordable Care Act will force the state to expand Medicaid coverage to some current children and adults between the years 2014 and 2020. But if Wyoming decides to follow the federal proposal to expand even further. Mead says the state’s share of costs will be high.
Governor Matt Mead says he is hopeful that the eight percent budget cuts he requested from state government agencies may not have to happen. But the governor says he is still considering the cuts, despite signs that the state revenue picture may be improving.
Governor Matt Mead continues weighing the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid to include those in the state who earn 133 percent of the poverty scale. The expansion is part of the healthcare overhaul known as the Affordable Care Act.
All state agencies have submitted their proposed budget cuts and now it’s up to Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming Legislature to develop a plan about how they would go about reducing state agency budgets if revenues fall below projections next year.
Governor Matt Mead’s efforts to land a Data Center for the state has paid off. Microsoft is going to build a 112 million dollar facility near Cheyenne that could employ up to 40 people.
To attract Microsoft, Governor Mead says the state offered nearly 11 million dollars in incentives, but he believes that the state should get a great return on its investment and he says it will provide high paying jobs. Mead has been touting the need for Data Centers and he says this is an important start.
The State Loan and Investment Board has approved a $5 million grant to help bring a proposed $112 million data center to Cheyenne. Cheyenne is one of two finalists in the Rocky Mountain region for the data center. State officials have declined to identify the company behind the project, but they say it is a Fortune 100 firm. The state board approved the $5 million grant on Monday. Gov. Matt Mead says he's willing to provide another $5 million in state money to help land the center, bringing the state's total
Gov. Matt Mead has signed a bill creating a wolf management plan for Wyoming.
The new law allows the state to manage wolf populations with hunting seasons in northwest Wyoming, and lets hunters shoot the animals on sight in the rest of the state.
Mead says he’s pleased.
“After 18 years of struggle, I think we’re well on our way to giving the state management of wolves," Mead said. "While all plans – none of them are perfect, a lot of thought and effort went into this.”
Gov. Matt Mead says tougher regulations aren’t the only answer to improving workplace safety.
“I want to be careful before we move down that path, because I also think that industry, on a voluntary basis, has a role to play,” Mead said. “I think enforcement is also part of it. But … we need to make sure that we have the data on what are the cause of these accidents and what are possible corrections for those accidents.”
Mead was speaking to the Wyoming Press Association in Laramie.
Governor Matt Mead says falling natural gas prices make this a good time to reevaluate his proposed budget. In December, the governor submitted his budget, which asked agencies to present a two-percent cut to their budgets. That budget was based on natural gas prices which were nearly $3.50 per MCF at the time.