Wyoming State Sen. Dave Kinskey on Wednesday said Wyoming’s energy industry — always prone to boom and bust — may never ever see a boom again.
Appearing at a legislative forum earlier this week, Kinskey — who represents Sheridan and Johnson counties — said the domestic and international sentiment against fossil fuels — coupled with a Democratic president — will likely spell doom for Wyoming’s oil and gas industry.
“I mean the legislation worldwide and across the United States and now with a Biden Administration, the war on carbon is going to continue at an increased pace,” he said.
This means, he said, that Wyoming’s economy — with 60 percent of the state’s revenue coming from coal, oil, gas, and other extractive industries — is going to be hit hard.
“By the time you add in the additional effects of sales tax from those, it is dropping dramatically. Add to that the complications of COVID-19, and we’ll come out of that but we’re not going to come out any time soon from the tailspin on oil, gas, and coal,” he said.
Kinskey said the state’s revenues are projected to be down between 25% and 30% over the next four to six years.
He said the state is $200 million away from balancing the portion of the budget not related to education, but the deficit in the state’s budget for public schools continues to grow.
To that end, Kinskey has asked the state’s school districts to be willing to accept budget cuts and to find ways to take cuts in revenue without hurting education.