Gov. Matt Mead

Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joins Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to help analyze the races and issues at stake in tomorrow's elections.

Rhetoric is heating up in Wyoming over new proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency. Governor Matt Mead and Senator John Barrasso both claim it will have a huge impact on Wyoming farmers, ranchers and businesses and will give the EPA jurisdiction over more water than ever before.

But Professor Mark Squillace of the University of Colorado School of Law disagrees.

Aaron Schrank/WPR

Hess Corporation President Greg Hill joined Gov. Matt Mead at The University of Wyoming Thursday to announce the company’s plan to donate $4.3 million more to help build UW’s new energy and engineering research complex.

Hess has now committed a total of $10 million to the university, $8.7 million of which will be matched by state funds.

The gifts support the High Bay Research Facility, which will be used for large-scale experiments and research aimed at tapping ‘unconventional reservoirs.’

www.wanderlustimages.com

The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and on June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions. Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own.

It’s time to stop looking at carbon as a liability and time to start figuring out ways to turn into an asset, Governor Matt Mead told attendees at the Wyoming Business Report’s Energy Summit Monday. He said carbon capture and utilization technology is not ready for prime-time, but that innovation is possible if the government and others invest in it.

“Everything is crazy until you figure it out. And this issue on coal in particular is an issue that I think we can figure out, and that we need to figure out,” Mead said.

Willow Belden

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has a new permanent supervisor. Mark Watson received a unanimous vote from the commissioners.

Watson was a runner-up in the last search for a supervisor and had been serving as the Commission’s interim supervisor after Grant Black’s sudden resignation in March. He's been with the Commission for almost thirty years in various positions, most recently as the principal petroleum engineer.

Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill says she intends to resume her job leading the state department of education on Monday.

Lawmakers stripped Hill of many of her duties last year and removed her as the head of the department, but the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the move was unconstitutional. A District Court still must certify the ruling, but Hill told reporters today she’s ready to go back to work.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex.  Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied towards a 'high bay' research facility.  

The facility's size will allow for large scale experiments.  Halliburton is also giving UW an additional $1 million for research into unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.  The gift will be matched by the state.  Governor Matt Mead says it was an exciting discussion with Halliburton.

Governor Matt Mead talks about his Jackson roots, family influences as the grandson of  Senator Cliff Hansen and life in the governors mansion. His conversation is light-hearted as he talks about his Mom and her run for governor in 1990, how he met his wife, Carol and raising their two children.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says he believes the state is in good shape going into the legislative budget session that starts next week.

Mead's State of the State address will kick off the legislative session that starts Monday in Cheyenne. Lawmakers have set aside four weeks to craft a budget for the two-year funding period that starts July 1.

Mead told The Associated Press today that he's generally satisfied with the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee's recommendations on his budget proposals.

Governor Matt Mead and other elected officials made the case during a Jackson forum Wednesday that Wyoming's future depends on energy. They said that tapping state's energy resources, from coal to natural gas, is what pays the bills when it comes to building schools and other vital infrastructure.

But the governor said that doesn't mean producing energy should come at the cost of the environment. And that impressed Paul Hansen, who moderated
the forum.

Gov. Matt Mead says he thinks Dick McGinity will be a good president for the University of Wyoming.

McGinity had been serving as interim president, after Bob Sternberg resigned last year. Last week, the UW Board of Trustees decided to appoint him as the new president, without conducting a search.

Speaking to the Wyoming Press Association on Friday, Mead said McGinity is a good pick.

“He and I served together on the Wyoming Business Council,” Mead said. "I think he is a stellar guy. … He is humble; he is smart; he is going to provide great direction to UW.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its final version of a plan to reduce atmospheric haze by cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants in Wyoming.

EPA officials say the plan will improve visibility across wide-open spaces while protecting natural resources and local economies which depend on recreation.

They say the 714-page document adopts most of a separate plan proposed by Wyoming environmental regulators.

Agreement over the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation seems to be a long way off between the state’s tribes and Governor Matt Mead. 

The dispute is over an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that the city of Riverton falls on tribal land. In a letter to the governor Wednesday, the Northern Arapaho tribe says it was surprised by the governor’s reaction to the EPA ruling.  They say in the past, the state has actively promoted the idea of giving the tribes Treatment as a State status and allowing the EPA to settle the 1905 Act boundary dispute, once and for all. 

Wyoming Democratic Party leaders have criticized Governor Matt Mead for opposing a full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. There are over 17,000 low-income adults in the state and State Democratic Party Chairman Pete Gosar says it's not right to oppose the expansion, since Mead isn’t proposing another option.

At a press conference last week, Mead said that on that count, Gosar is right.

Governor Matt Mead says the number of highway fatalities has been decreasing. 

"Wyoming began tracking highway fatalities in 1967 and if we finish the year up well we will have had 82 highway fatalities, which will be the lowest number since 1967," Mead said.

At this time last year, there were already 112 fatalities.

However, Mead warned that the holiday season tends to be the deadliest in Wyoming and drivers can expect a lot of enforcement out on the roads to help keep that number from growing.

Governor Matt Mead says Wyoming is seeing growth and success among businesses in the state.

During the governor’s business forum in Cheyenne he noted that Wyoming ranks high in a number of pro-business categories and that leads to growth in a variety of business sectors.  He says it will only get better.

“We have a great future ahead of us,” Mead said. “And it is not because we do everything right every day, it is because a common commitment and love for Wyoming and a care for the citizens and families in Wyoming to do everything as well as possible.”

Governor Matt Mead says there’s no question that Taiwan and South Korea want Wyoming coal. Mead just returned from a trip to those countries where he met with government leaders, trona industry representatives, and attended events promoting tourism in Wyoming. He says exporting Wyoming coal is still a good idea.  

Fiscal Year 2013 has been a good year for Wyoming economically. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, report says the state’s general fund exceeded 2013 projections by $333 million.

Governor Matt Mead says much of that comes from investments. Mead cautions that revenues from coal and natural gas are lackluster, but says oil did better than expected.

Governor still mulling Medicaid expansion

Sep 4, 2013

Recently the Wyoming Department of Health submitted a revised plan on how the state could expand Medicaid Services to more people. 

It would require some of the new participants to pay into the system, much like they would do if they owned insurance.  They’d do this on a sliding fee scale depending on their income.  While he is still nervous about the federal government’s financial commitment to the effort, Governor Matt Mead says that the program could provide more health care to more people and also save the state money.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he is still weighing the attributes of the three finalists for the state’s new Education Director.  The Director would run the State Department of Education.  

Mead has interviewed all three, but says he wants more time to consider them.

Gov. Mead releases WY energy policy

May 13, 2013

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.

Governor Matt Mead says the Republican Central Committee acted too hastily when it approved a resolution endorsing a petition drive to repeal the state law that removed powers from State Superintendent Cindy Hill. Several members of the committee also wanted three Republican legislators who were instrumental in passing the law to leave the party. Mead says a court challenge to the law will be heard by the Supreme Court and the Wyoming Attorney General’s office is also concluding an investigation into how the Department was run in Superintendent Hill’s first two years in office.

The tenth annual Methamphetamine and Substance Abuse Conference will be held in Casper at the end of April.

  Governor Matt Mead will be the special guest speaker. The conference brings stakeholders from across the state together with national speakers to discuss the impacts of methamphetamines on communities.

  Casper Crime Prevention Officer Jadee Kroeger, says the annual event can benefit a number of community services.

Governor signs lottery bill

Mar 13, 2013

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has signed a lottery bill into law.            

The Governor’s approval means that Wyoming can either form its own state lottery or enter into a multi-state lottery on July first. 

A C-E-O and a nine member board will oversee the lottery.  Mead said last week that he was weighing the pros and cons of the lottery, but ultimately decided to sign the bill to keep Wyoming residents from driving to other states to purchase lottery tickets.  Mead says he wants to keep those dollars in Wyoming. 

Governor ponders sequestration help

Mar 7, 2013

Mayors from communities surrounding Yellowstone National Park are asking the state of Wyoming to help pay for snow removal to help Yellowstone open its roads on time. 

Yellowstone officials say the snow removal has been delayed due to the federal sequestration.  But Governor Matt Mead says he has reservations about using state dollars to pay for federal obligations.    

This summer, the State of Wyoming and the City of Casper will sponsor a four-day adventure race, in which participants will hike, bike, and paddle more than 300 miles across the state. At the Governor’s Tourism Conference this week, Governor Matt Mead said the event will draw visitors from across North America and show off the state’s tourist attractions.Rev 3 Adventure, an event and race production company, will organize the Cowboy Tough Adventure Weekend.Company spokesman Michael Spiller described the race as a giant scavenger hunt, inspired by Wyoming attractions and history.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Legislative session has ended.  In his closing comments to lawmakers, Governor Matt Mead acknowledged that lawmakers had a difficult

“I asked in my state of the state for 6 percent budget cuts and you delivered that,” Mead said. “I asked in my state of the state to provide some flexibility in terms of where we go in the future in large projects.  You provided that.  I asked for in my budget to fund landfills, a Gillette-Madison water project, the School of Engineering.  You addressed all of those.”

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.

Enviro groups sue over wolf delisting

Nov 13, 2012

A consortium of environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List.

Now that federal protections have ended, Wyoming controls wolf management. The state’s plan allows the animals to be shot on sight throughout most of the state. In northwest Wyoming, there’s a limited hunting season, and the animals are protected for the rest of the year.

But Andrew Wetzler with the Natural Resources Defense Council says those protections won’t maintain a viable wolf population.

Pages