joint minerals committee

Joint Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Meeting At UW
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is looking for a way to deal with idle limiting mining operations (LMOs). Those are small aggregate, or gravel, pits used by ranches or oil companies, among other entities, to build roads.

The Joint Minerals committee shot down a draft bill Friday that would have required legislative approval for state agencies to comply with the Obama administration’s signature climate change law. 

The Clean Power Plan requires states make significant cuts in carbon emissions from power plants. Wyoming has a targeted reduction of 44 percent.

Representative Norine Kasperik (R-Gillette) drafted the bill. 

"I don't think the stakes could be higher for Wyoming," she said. 

Wyoming’s uranium industry moved closer to its goal of being regulated by the state instead of the federal government on Monday.

The Legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee voted to introduce a bill that would allow the Department of Environmental Quality to take over from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Transferring the regulatory responsibilities is estimated to cost 4 million dollars. Shannon Anderson with the Powder River Basin Resource Council told the committee that the industry should have to pay for that.

There’s disagreement over whether industry should pay for the state to take over regulation of uranium mining. The Legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee reviewed a draft bill Thursday that would start the transfer of regulatory power from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.