Wyoming is the global leader in CCUS

As energy transitions occur across the globe, one has to question if policy makers are learning from the experiences in other states and nations.  We would be wise to pay close attention.  Change is coming, and today’s energy sector will look different in the near future.  Those two dynamics are a given.  However, if we garner anything from what is happening in Europe and California, it is that chaos ensues when energy transitions are rushed through unrealistic public policy goals.

Wyoming is an energy producing state and proud of it. Our energy portfolio is one of the most diverse in the country and enables us to support good paying jobs, generate essential products and exports, and improve our communities. Critical industries like mining, which employs about 10,000 workers in Wyoming making an average salary of $82,000 – almost twice the state-wide average – have long been constant drivers of jobs in Wyoming. And Wyoming also remains a leader and innovator in the world’s carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) solution.

Reduction in carbon emissions has long been touted as a public policy goal.  But now we hear critics and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. trying to advance negative perceptions about CCUS in lieu of embracing any practical or grounded solution to carbon dioxide emissions.  CCUS utilizes best-in-class technological advancements to solve for carbon emissions, many of which are the product of vital Wyoming industries. Absent these industries in partnership with the world-leading CCUS solutions Wyoming has embraced, not only could Wyoming’s economy be disrupted, but also the economic livelihoods of residents in every corner of the state.  

With the outstanding support and leadership of Wyoming’s Legislature, the State of Wyoming, Wyoming Energy Authority, the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources and private industry, Wyoming is “walking the walk” on CCUS. CCUS is the future of energy, and Wyoming is leading the charge in developing the technology and bringing our nation closer to net-zero emissions.  After all, isn’t achieving net-zero emissions the goal?

The extraction industry provides the largest revenue stream in Wyoming, which is appropriated toward education, hospitals and infrastructure, and employs thousands of families throughout the state. CCUS allows us to continue benefitting from this revenue stream while simultaneously meeting emission goals.

CCUS could also significantly bolster Wyoming’s workforce, as estimates forecast that by 2050 global deployment of CCUS technologies could result in 80,000 to 100,000 jobs being created in the construction of CCUS projects, in addition to 30,000 to 40,000 operational roles.

For the United States to reach global climate goals and provide secure jobs for Wyomingites and Americans alike (in the coal industry in particular), we must rely on innovative energy technologies such as CCUS and work alongside the experts.  If reducing carbon emissions is the real goal and technology affords us a path to achieve it, why not use it extend the life of our vital fossil fuel economic sectors?  

Wyoming is poised to lead the world into a lower carbon future while continuing to pursue a path toward a secure energy economy. So, let’s give Wyoming credit where credit is due: for investing in and working towards solutions, not just throwing stones. Change is inevitable, but an energy transition that upends economic stability is the definition of chaos.  


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