This week, both the state and federal government took steps that will change how coal companies deal with pollution and reclamation. A bill died in the state legislature that would have cut severance taxes in half for oil and gas companies in the third and fourth year of production. And a piece of legislation continues to progress that would create a new criminal classification for the act of blocking or damaging infrastructure considered essential like pipelines oil and gas facilities. In short, a lot happened. To explain, energy reporter Cooper McKim sat down with Connie Wilbert, director of the Sierra Club’s Wyoming Chapter, to look at different sides of each issue and what they mean.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is holding a public meeting March 28th in several locations to discuss the financial assurance regulations. Kyle Wendtland, the DEQ’s Land Quality Administrator, said changes in rule-making have more to do with a 2013 energy strategy analysis than the recent bankruptcies of coal companies.