Laramie, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal says the study into why prices for oil produced in the Rocky Mountain are lower then the rest of the country will continue. Freudenthal says that has been a serious problem for oil producers in the state and region. North Dakota Governor John Hoeven told Freudenthal that a task force will continue to look at the issue. Members of the task force are developing a final report that will include suggestions for closing the gap in oil prices.
Laramie, WY – Falling natural gas prices are starting to affect the state's revenue projections. The price of natural gas at hub in western Wyoming this week was 30 percent lower than the price in Southern California. Analysts expect to see state revenues slip accordingly in the second half of this fiscal year. State economic analyst Buck McVeigh says that after last year's hurricane season, the price in Wyoming shot up to 11 dollars per thousand cubic feet of gas. The current price is just a third of that level.
Laramie, Wy – Today is the anniversary of the attack on Matthew Shepard. He was the gay University of Wyoming student that was beaten to death in 1998. To mark the anniversary the Matthew Shepard Foundation is starting a get out the vote campaign. Matthew's mother Judy Shepard says her son was very active in politics and so they are encouraging people to vote in his place. This campaign is particularly targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Shepard says it is a particularly apathetic community, but if they vote they can get more rights.
Laramie, WY – Nationally, heating costs are suooised to be down this winter and there is a good chance that will be the case in Wyoming, too. A mild summer and forecasts of a mild winter could reduce natural gas costs. Wyoming's Consumer Advocate Bryce Freeman says he is optimistic. Freeman says he expects companies to start asking or price reductions. One company is Cheyenne has asked for an increase in rates, but Freeman says that is because they had been undercharging earlier this year.
Cody, Wy – Republican candidate for Governor Ray Hunkins does not favor a powerball lottery for the state, but Governor Dave Freudenthal says he would sign such a bill if the legislature passed it. Some are hoping Wyoming becomes part of a multi-state lottery. Hunkins does not favor additional gaming in the state and adds that Wyoming does not need the money such a lottery could bring into the state. Freudenthal has opposed such a lottery in the past but recently changed his mind about the issue.
Laramie, Wy – Filling stations across the nation face a deadline this Sunday: to offer the new cleaner burning low sulfur diesel at the pump. Federal legislation required refineries to create the blend and the transition to the new fuel began over the summer. Proponents say the lower sulfur diesel if burned in a compliant 2007-model engine will cut emissions drastically. In older models the fuel should cut emissions significantly as well. Diesel technology forum spokesman Bill Buff says the transition is the most significant since the removal of lead.