Governor says 'Wyoming is facing leaner times' after sobering revenue forecast released - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Governor says ‘Wyoming is facing leaner times’ after sobering revenue forecast released

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued a statement addressing the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) revenue forecast that was released recently.

The forecast for Wyoming’s fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2024, which can be read here, outlines a predicted shortfall of $185.4 million over the next three years.

“To no one’s surprise, the CREG report has shown Wyoming is facing leaner times,” said the governor in the release. “We will have to find a few new holes in our belt. The process will not be easy.”

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The governor will release his budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 on November 18.

The governor says the forecast shows “a more fundamental change that will affect how well we can fund government services going forward,” as opposed to the usual boom and bust market cycle the state is known for.

For Fiscal Year 2020 and beyond, the report points to reduced outlook for coal, natural gas and investment earnings.

“Wyoming’s state revenue streams remain volatile,” said the CREG report concerning oil and coal production. The report indicated volatility could get even worse.

The report says oil earnings have been positive due to construction of pipelines and other infrastructure, but that was offset by declines in coal and natural gas production.

The report says Wyoming’s surface coal production declined by 10.1 million tons during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2019, and that the demand for coal nationwide is expected to continue downward.

The worldwide demand for Wyoming’s trona and uranium has also declined.

In his statement, the governor said “we will continue to deliver the services Wyoming citizens need in a more efficient manner. And, as always, we will ferret out waste, fraud, and abuse.”