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Wyoming is the second top producing energy state on federal land 

Natural gas production in the Jonah Field, with the Wind River Range in the distance.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media
Natural gas production in the Jonah Field in Sublette County.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced more than $20 billion was generated from U.S. energy production on federal land during fiscal year 2022 and renewables played a significant role.

Wyoming brought in more than $1.6 billion from energy production on federal land over the last year, with the majority of the money coming from oil and gas production. For comparison, in fiscal year 2021 the revenue from Wyoming was about $1 billion.

“Here in Wyoming fossil fuel resources are largely still our bread and butter,” said Shannon Anderson, the staff attorney for the Powder River Basin Resource Council. “Our commodity driven markets are really showing that. It's a fairly good year for that kind of development.”

The only state that brought in more revenue this fiscal year was New Mexico with almost $6 billion, primarily from oil production which has been at an all time high in the state this year.

Some of the revenue money goes back to states for projects in reclamation, conservation and historical preservation. Wyoming will be receiving back almost $800 million in disbursements.

The federal government touted that renewable energy production played its biggest role yet in annual energy revenues. In fact, wind energy brought in $4.6 billion, compared to $5.1 million last year. Anderson said the data is notable.

“It definitely I think emphasizes that renewable energy is going to be a continuingly larger share of the portion of revenue,” Anderson said.

Wyoming did not bring in any revenue from wind energy on federal land; however, there are some projects in the works. In Carbon County, the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Project is on 50 percent federal land. It will eventually have a 3,000 megawatt capacity, which could potentially power a maximum of 2.7 million houses a year. It is slated to be finished by 2028.

Correction: This story was updated Nov. 9, 2022 to reflect 3,000 megawatts could power up to 2.7 million homes, not 2,700 homes.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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