Are you concerned about the discussions regarding rising energy costs and their impact on our residential and commercial utility bills throughout Wyoming?
We are, too.
As small business owners, ranchers, parents and energy professionals, we know that every Wyomingite has seen increased costs over the last several years, and each one affects us. They affect our ability to make ends meet at home, keep the lights on at our jobs and preserve our Wyoming businesses throughout the state.
We understand that keeping costs low and within budget is essential to many sectors of our everyday life. The recent discussions and data clearly show that the newly proposed utility increases are primarily due to the rising prices of natural gas (89%) and coal (38%) over the last two years. However, the conversation has instead focused on falsely blaming renewables and a possible moratorium on future renewable projects.
The problem isn’t renewables. Renewables are helping to combat these rising costs and are currently less expensive than natural gas and coal. Yet some leaders are trying to put a moratorium on renewable energy development.
You don’t have to be a renewable energy supporter to benefit from renewable energy.
The fact is that Wyoming needs to embrace all of the above energy policies now more than ever. Our state is selling energy – ALL energy, whether inside Wyoming or to surrounding neighbors in the Western Interconnection Grid covering the western United States.
Renewables are a vital part of our economic and energy future. This statement does not mean we support or envision a future where our legacy industries disappear. Wyoming and our national grid need consistent baseload power from coal and natural gas. Where renewables assist is in lowering utility costs and diversifying our economy.
Over the last decade, solar and wind costs have significantly decreased while sources like coal and natural gas have continued to rise. Much of these changes are due to market increases as our legacy industries are traded on the open commodities market. Banning renewables only threatens to increase rates for both residents and industry further.
A diversified energy portfolio is essential to our Wyoming economy and remaining competitive, as many neighboring states, including North and South Dakota, are taking full advantage of energy production — including wind and solar. We cannot afford to pick winners and losers regarding energy and technology. All forms of energy generation are critical to Wyoming and the ability to keep costs lower for the consumer.
Wyoming and its leaders must look at the data and not blame renewables when they keep utility costs low, provide revenue, create new jobs and diversify our economy.
Let’s look at the facts, and not create policies that hurt our future. Let’s embrace an all-of-the-above energy policy and create a more robust energy sector in Wyoming for generations to come.
Powering Up Wyoming Advisory Board:
Richard C Grant, Dr. Jonathan Naughton, Mark Eisele and Gunnar Malm