As I've journeyed across my district, meeting you in town halls, offices, and even grocery store lines, your voices have been loud and clear. Wyoming may be the state we are proud and blessed to call home, but it still faces critical challenges.
I’ve been so humbled by the voters who have reached out and the worries you've expressed resonate deeply with me and my own family: rising property taxes, mental health challenges, the sacred right of parenting coming under threat, and the rising cost of living. Among these, a pressing issue stands out: the unacceptable rise in electric rates. It's not just a matter of cost; it's a matter of principle.
As a conservative, I am not just concerned but driven to action, and as a problem solver, I am committed to finding practical, Wyoming-first solutions.
My legislative colleagues and I are not just offering mere words but instead a "Conservative Commitment to Wyoming" - a concrete promise to address these challenges with unwavering conservative values. Let’s start with our electric rate crisis, hitting families across our state.
Wyoming, blessed with abundant energy resources, should theoretically enjoy the lowest electricity costs in the nation. Yet, reality tells a different story.
The crux of the issue? Our population is a fraction of states like Oregon, Washington, and California.
All too frequently, our public utilities like Rocky Mountain Power design and plan their generation and transmission to appease the political appetites of those west coast, left-leaning states, leaving Wyoming in the dark.
When Washington or Oregon makes a demand for a certain type of electricity or, more importantly, say they will not accept certain fossil fuel-based power generation, Rocky Mountain Power must respond to those demands and too often, that hurts Wyoming.
Enter Senate File 24 – a symbol of conservative action, not just rhetoric. This bill is a declaration of Wyoming's right to prioritize its interests. It revolutionizes the role of the Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC), empowering it to act preemptively, ensuring utility projects serve Wyoming first. This is not just a policy; it's a declaration of energy independence.
We are at a pivotal moment. Other states, like Utah and Oregon, already practice this proactive approach.
Most importantly, this bill empowers you, the citizens of Wyoming, to challenge utility plans right from the start. This is a new right for you to demand that utilities like Rocky Mountain Power put Wyoming first. This is a manifestation of our core conservative beliefs: economic freedom, local control, and state sovereignty.
This bill is a call for Wyoming to dictate its energy future, not to be dictated by others' demands. It's about ensuring our utilities are accountable to us, the people of Wyoming. Senate File 24 embodies our conservative values, giving us the tools to keep our electricity affordable and our state's interests at the forefront. This isn't just about keeping the lights on; it's about lighting the way for a future where Wyoming dictates its destiny, not at the mercy of other states' whims.
Families are hurting and it’s time to act. This legislation embodies the very meaning of a Conservative Commitment to Wyoming.
Let’s look towards a future where Wyoming controls its destiny, unshackled from the influence of other states. For a brighter, more self-reliant, and economically robust Wyoming, the choice is clear – it begins with Senate File 24.
Rep. Jon Conrad represents House District 19 in Mountain View, Wyoming