Economy

Jupiter Oxygen

Jupiter Oxygen Corporation has plans to set up shop right here in Wyoming.

"We looked at Texas. We looked at North Dakota. We looked at Colorado, New Mexico... We homed in on Wyoming for a number of, I think, right reasons," said Steve Krimsky, senior vice President of operations for Jupiter Oxygen.

https://www.wyomingsense.gov/cares-act


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, was the largest stimulus bill ever passed in the United States. Wyoming's cut - $1.25 billion - went to various sectors of the economy, but there's criticism of how that money was split up and concerns that the state will need more funding as the pandemic continues.

Wyoming2030

This month, a series of virtual events aims to talk about Wyoming's future through the lens of children and family in the state.

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance and Wyoming Community Foundation are partnering up for the initiative called Wyoming 2030. It aims to broaden the public education discussion by hosting a series of virtual events every Tuesday of January.

Melodie Edwards

The pandemic has worsened food, health and housing insecurity across the country and in Wyoming. A new study shows that for many families in the state, these issues are front and center.

Wind Farm Near Wheatland
Holly Copeland

The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee once again considered and voted against a bill that would have raised the generation tax on wind. This time from $1 per megawatt hour to $2 per megawatt hour. The bill would have also removed a three-year tax exemption enjoyed by wind energy producers.

Catherine Wheeler

With COVID-19's effects on business throughout the state, there have been concerns how all of Wyoming's small businesses are faring especially during this holiday season. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Dixie Johnson about how Sheridan businesses have adapted this year. Johnson began by describing how a local holiday tradition was affected.

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

A state legislative committee is discussing the last stages of approval for a major oil and gas project in Converse County. The U.S. Department of Interior just has to sign the Record of Decision (ROD), which Select Federal Natural Resource Management committee members like Douglas Sen. Brian Boner is anxious to finish or even speed up.

Juntos

Experts say that immigrants can help bolster a community's declining population, but many small towns, which are common in the West, struggle to attract them. Gateways For Growth (G4G) is a national program that tries to help these towns become welcoming to immigrant populations.

Patrick Amole via wyomingbusiness.org/ERP

Wyoming will double its contribution of federal CARES Act funds to the oil and gas industry through the Energy Rebound Program.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has recently opened its Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation. Only a handful of universities in the country have this kind of center, and UW hopes this will help to diversify the state's economy. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with the new center's director Steven Lupien to discuss what unique resources the center will offer. First, Lupien explained what a blockchain is.

Ekaterina Pokrovsky / Adobe Stock


When Willow Belden goes holiday shopping she likes to support local businesses. This year, though, it's meant calling stores and asking, "Are you guys wearing masks? But are you really wearing masks? And, like, what else are you doing?"

Location for Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project. Several in public comment spoke from the county, along with a project official
Power Company of Wyoming

The state legislature's Joint Revenue Committee set aside time during a recent meeting to learn how the wind industry is currently being taxed in the state; no bill on the subject was under discussion.

Catlin Mary Ann Miller via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license


The pandemic has caused nationwide economic struggles, including here in Wyoming. You might be surprised to learn that it's also created a new wave of entrepreneurs.

Public Domain

The Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee has voted to recommend approval of a nine cent fuel tax increase to pay for highway maintenance. Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner said WYDOT faces a funding gap of $136 million and the tax increase would help chip away at that.

McFadden Wind Farm
Leigh Paterson

The Joint Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee voted to sponsor and move forward with a bill that would effectively raise the tax on generating wind energy in Wyoming. The bill removes the three year tax exemption given to companies before a $1 per megawatt hour tax sets in.

In May of 2020, the Converse County trailer park quickly emptied out after the pandemic hit and oil and gas activity declined.
Cooper McKim

Gov. Mark Gordon will use $15 million in CARES Act funds to create the Energy Rebound Program, a program intended to boost oil and gas activity in Wyoming. At the moment, there are five active rigs in the state compared to 25 at the beginning of the year.

uwyo.edu

Over the past three years, the Wyoming legislature has passed laws to create a regulatory environment for blockchain application growth. Now, the new University of Wyoming Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation hopes to help keep this new industry in the state.

Stevenson's Hyrail Services, LLC early on during the pandemic
Cooper McKim

Local businesses serving the energy industry in Wyoming are expressing anxiety over expected policy changes from President-elect Joe Biden.

Cevin Iemus, owner of Land Surveying, Incorporated in Gillette, said he expects his bottom line to be greatly impacted by this election. He's thinking about Biden's potential ban of oil and gas permits on federal land. For now, Iemus expects a surge of new permits and activity to outrun those changes, "but it's going to take a quick turn and go downhill."

Office of Refugee Resettlement

Since 1980, more than three million refugees from around the world have resettled in the United States. Wyoming is the only state in the country to not participate in a refugee resettlement program, meaning those seeking a new home cannot be directly settled in the state's borders.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with University of Wyoming Assistant Law Professor Jerry Fowler, who is also the supervisor of the UW Law School's International Human Rights Clinic, about the impact this can have on our state.

Wyoming Legacy Meats

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a problem that already existed in Wyoming—a lack of USDA meat processing facilities compared to the number of animals that need to be processed.

Producers need their meat to be USDA certified in order to sell across state lines and to grocery stores and restaurants. The narrowing bottleneck has put many in a financial bind.

Jeff Victor


Wyoming, like many states, has tried to strike a balance between letting businesses operate and slowing the spread of COVID-19. But businesses are struggling to keep their doors open amid a rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

The Crowbar and Grill in downtown Laramie had to radically alter its operations when COVID-19 hit Wyoming in March.

Wyoming Business Council

This week, Governor Mark Gordon unveiled some final CARES ACT aid. The money will be split between Wyoming businesses and the agriculture community.

The Wyoming Business Council will oversee the distribution and Wyoming Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell joins Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to explain the funding, starting with the agriculture support.

justtrails.com

More than a million more people visited Wyoming state parks so far this year compared to last. The Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources reports those record breaking numbers are continuing into the fall.

Amid the economic downturn, Idaho and Utah have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Tedweverka via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

For the first time in nearly 50 years, there will be no winter lodging at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

pxhere via CC0 Public Domain

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many have turned to the great outdoors in an effort to get out of their house but still stay away from people. And with more people out of work, it also helps to be able to fill the freezer. For some, stocking up on food during the pandemic means buying extra meat. For others, it means buying a hunting license and heading into the field. For Tylynn Smith from Laramie, it's her first time going hunting.

If this was a normal year, right now, thousands of people would be flocking to the middle of the northern Nevada desert to watch “The Man” burn. But it’s not a normal year, and this year’s Burning Man counterculture outdoor festival has been canceled along with many, many live events across the region. That’s taking its toll on the arts, the community and the economy. 

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming
Bob Beck


It was a rough spring for Wyoming's workforce. Unemployment skyrocketed with the closure of many businesses due to COVID-19. The federal government provided assistance, but it took awhile to get the roughly $336 million it paid out into people's hands. Robin Cooley is the director of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that when the pandemic hit in Wyoming, things changed quickly.

picserver.org/e/economy.html

A new report from the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information shows that sales tax numbers last spring dropped dramatically in both mining and lodging.

money
CC0 Public Domain

This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.

The cuts are due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and a sudden drop in energy prices. Gordon has said he would like to see cuts, reserves, and some new revenue sources used together to address the shortfall, but that remains difficult.

Pages