Mead Says Wyoming's Energy Future Must Balance Economy And Environment

Jan 30, 2014

Governor Matt Mead

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.

“I think the governor does care about the environment and does care about finding that sweet spot where things can work both for benefiting the economy and the environment at the same time. And he seemed to understand that there are a number of things that fall in that category and with the right alignment we can get both.”

Hansen is the author of a new book, "Green in Gridlock," about finding common ground and striking compromises on environmental issues.

Mead said he remains skeptical that humans are causing climate change. But he told the Jackson audience that that's beside the point.

“What I'm not skeptical of is that regardless of your belief on that, I'm not skeptical that the markets believe it. And when the markets believe it, you see coal companies their stocks have been declining. You see fuel switching where industry, producers of electricity, they're fuel-switching from coal to natural gas. And so whether or not you believe it you should believe that the markets believe it.”