Uranium industry growth has challenges
Many people hope that Wyoming’s uranium industry will become much more active, as interest in nuclear energy grows.
University of Wyoming Ag Economist Tex Taylor says there is a lot of potential for increased employment and tax revenue for the state. But Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout, who chairs the Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, says new and smaller companies are often stymied by the state and federal permitting process and other regulatory hurdles.
He fears that despite Wyoming’s vast Uranium reserves, some may choose to do their business elsewhere.
“We for sure don’t want to have Wyoming producers that have the potential to produce here leave because of perceived permitting problems and other conflicts that we can reconcile and move the state forward. So that’s the challenge for the state and the politics of it is to insure that we are doing it in a sound way and a proper way, but yet don’t make it so problematic that people decide we are going to go spend our money elsewhere. ”
Bebout is looking into reducing some of the hurdles for Uranium companies, but fellow State Senator Chris Rothfuss of Laramie isn’t sure that’s a good idea. While he is a fan of speeding up the permitting process, Rothfuss believes that the permits and regulations help keep the public safe.