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Committee approves severance tax refund bill

Pete Obermueller of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming testify's on several tax rebate legislation
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Media
Pete Obermueller of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming testify's on several tax rebate legislation

A bill that would provide a severance tax refund to energy extraction companies if federal mineral royalty rates rise has been approved by the Senate Minerals Committee. Senate File 84 would take Wyoming’s share of increased mineral royalty rates and return them to oil, gas and coal companies. The goal is to keep the companies competitive and prevent job losses.

Wyoming Mining Association Director Travis Deti told the committee that the proposed federal royalty increase is pure politics.

“Folks that pull the levers of power in Washington D.C. made it quite clear that their goal, the ultimate goal of all of this, is to keep the resources in the ground,” said Deti. “And you do that by driving up the cost of production so that it’s non-economical to produce. So I think it’s a political thing.”

Laramie Sen. Chris Rothfuss said the bill isn’t needed because all states would be impacted the same, but supporters say the large amount of federal leases in Wyoming could create a hardship for producers. The bill now goes to the Senate floor for further debate.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.

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