By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A reduction in soda ash royalties expected to save producers up to $5 million over the next 10 years is being praised by members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation.
U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney welcomed the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision to reduce the royalties paid on soda ash production from 6% to 2% for the next decade, beginning Jan. 1.
“Today’s long-awaited action will give Wyoming soda ash producers the certainty we need to stay competitive in the global market,” Barrasso said. “For too long, American producers have had to battle unfair foreign trade practices of China and other countries. Lowering the royalty rate will level the playing field against China and preserve these high-paying jobs in Wyoming.”
Wyoming is the nation’s leading producer of soda ash, which is used in detergents, water softening and the manufacture of glass, soap and paper. The state also has the world’s largest deposits of trona, the raw material used to create soda ash.
The Department of Interior in August released its proposal to reduce the royalties paid on the production of minerals not related to energy. The reduction in royalties is expected to save the soda ash industry $5 million over the next decade.
Enzi, Barrasso and Cheney agreed the royalty reduction will help Wyoming soda ash remain competitive against foreign producers such as China.
“American producers have been struggling against unfair trade practices from other countries like China,” Enzi said in a news release from the three. “This decision to reduce the royalty rate will allow this critical Wyoming industry to remain competitive.
“This long-awaited royalty rate reduction will empower soda ash producers across our state to expand operations and create much-needed job opportunities and economic growth as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cheney said.