Coal Industry Had Success During Minerals Meeting

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Tax cuts for the coal industry could be on the way but Wyoming’s uranium industry wasn't so lucky.

The Joint Minerals Committee heard their last proposals on Friday.

Uranium a major player for Wyoming’s mineral industry took a blow when the joint minerals committee denied a request from uranium plant officials for a severance tax cut from four percent to two percent why?

"The discussion was mostly around whether or not it would be fair to do it specifically for the uranium industry we haven't done it for coal. We haven't done it for oil or natural gas. So we turned that down yesterday” says Senator Henry Coe.

The education budget also aided in their decision. When the education budget falls short the general fund makes up the loss.

"Basically we fund the balance of education out of the general fund where uranium severance tax flows into."

While uranium plants took a hit coal companies had a success.
Representatives from some coal plants here within the state say carbon capture is something Wyoming needs.

"Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that climate change is real and so how do we adjust to that as a coal company in Wyoming. Still keep coal as a low cost base load source of electricity while reducing carbon admissions” says Megan Degenfelder

This would allow energy plants to build carbon capture usage and storage technology in their facilities. In return making it feasible to sell their stored Co-2 to industries needing it.

"So what this enhanced tax credit would do for the state of Wyoming for our citizens incentive our customers the utilities to keep purchasing Wyoming Powder River Basin coal and to really keep that in the mix."

The joint minerals committee agrees seven of the eight voting to urge congressional delegates to support tax credits for energy plants emitting Co-2.

So what's next awaiting approval on the federal level for these tax cuts to take place.

Experts say this will ensure Wyoming’s coal industry stays competitive in the global energy market.

According to Degenfelder thirty percent of U.S. electricity used in 2016 was delivered by coal.