Wyo. governor stresses clean coal, renewables in energy strategy

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, Casper Wyo. Star-Tribune, • Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) has called for more funding for clean coal research and a new emphasis on renewables, a shift from a previous strategy focused on fossil fuels.

He unveiled his updated energy strategy in Cheyenne amid a downturn in coal. Mead made his trademark call for more research into other economic uses for coal. He also called for more wind turbine manufacturing in the state. An initiative to expand foreign markets for natural gas and coal was dropped from the original 2013 version.

“The fact is, it’s a doubling down on coal and a very good start on renewables,” he said.

Aides stressed that the governor would not give up on coal exports, but acknowledged the change in the state’s economic climate. The new initiatives are a response to public comments on energy and environment issues facing the state, said Nephi Cole, a policy adviser to the governor.

“We realize times do change, and they always do,” Cole said. “The framework was designed to be flexible to respond to the times”