Wyoming submitted its bid for Occidental Petroleum’s 1 million acres of land and 4 million mineral acres July 10. Officials haven’t heard any news, they said this week. One called the silence worrying.
Wyoming is a national leader in many aspects of oil and gas industry management, but recent developments threaten to undermine our effective and conservative approach.
An internal memo to the Legislature from its fiscal analysts anticipates $555 million to $2.8 billion in lost revenues from COVID-19 and an oil price war. “Armageddon,” in the words of one lawmaker.
Downtowns and the state’s cornerstone are under the gun from a pandemic response that necessitates curtailing economic activity. Economists predict prolonged impacts.
Now the question becomes how far the Legislature should and will go to protect Wyoming against upheaval in its longtime king industries — oil, gas and coal.