Laramie, Wy – Wyoming residents are able to deduct the money they spend on state sales taxes, but only for another year. Wyoming lawmakers are trying to make the deduction permanent, but their efforts keep getting thwarted.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming republicans are getting their day in the sun Saturday as they will select delegates for the Republican national convention this fall. In the past, county conventions were simply used to pick people to go to the national convention. But State Caucus Chairman Tom Sansonetti things are different this year.
Billings, MT – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today rejected a proposed water quality agreement with Wyoming.
He says it failed to protect Montana's farmers and fisheries and could've curtailed future energy development in the state.
The deal was hashed out during months of negotiations between the two states. It called for tighter standards for water discharged by Wyoming's coal-bed methane industry into the Tongue River. But it left out two of the Tongue's main tributaries -- something Schweitzer says he couldn't accept.
Gillette, WY – Energy companies will now be charged $4,000 a well to cover the administrative costs of drilling on federal land.
The change came in a congressional directive signed by President Bush on Dec. 26. The idea is to reimburse the federal government for the cost of processing drilling applications.
Bureau of Land Management officials say $4,000 is the average processing cost for each oil or gas well drilled nationwide. The BLM says it has had to absorb those costs regardless of whether a drilling permit is granted.
Laramie, WY – This week, Republican Cynthia Lummis officially became a candidate for the US House.
Lummis had been considering a run ever since Representative Barbara Cubin decided not to seek re-election. Lummis is hoping to impact a number of revenue and land issues if elected. As for the war, Lummis wants a steady approach.
Laramie, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal is calling the reduction of mineral royalties that go to the state a crime.
The federal government is reducing the share of the mineral royalties that go to states from 50 percent to 48 percent. Freudenthal says this move is part of a pattern of the federal government trying to bail itself out by pulling state money back.
Wyoming could lose about 20 million dollars as a result of the change.
Casper, WY – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has halted a proposal to end private uses of public land at Alcova Reservoir and other reservoirs.
The proposed rule change would have prohibited private uses like the leasing of trailer spaces at Alcova. The change also would have affected private property on bureau land at Pathfinder, Grey Reef, Boysen and Keyhole reservoirs.
The change drew protests from people who vacation at Alcova, including the owners of about 80 year-round homes west of the reservoir.