Governor’s Gas and Diesel Working Group Offers Ideas for Reducing Prices at the Pump
Written by Caleb Nelson on October 18, 2022
Record-level inflation over the last year hurt many hard-working Wyoming families, forcing difficult financial decisions. In June of this year, when gasoline prices rose to their highest recorded levels, Governor Mark Gordon established the “Gas and Diesel Working Group.” He tasked them with finding solutions to help provide relief at the fuel pump for Wyoming families.
The Gas and Diesel Working Group was comprised of members in both the private and public sectors. In July, the working group hosted two public meetings where testimony was provided related to possible options and solutions.
“The committee greatly appreciated individuals taking time to provide information during the public meetings,” notes Chairman Brenda Henson, Director of the Department of Revenue.
Following the public meetings, the Working Group explored proposed solutions and prepared a report for Governor Gordon outlining their recommendations.
Reflecting on the group’s efforts, Chairman Henson states, “I wish to thank the members of the working group, who each spent time researching various options and weighing how each would ultimately affect prices. In addition, members thought outside the box with a shared goal of providing Wyomingites relief and brought ideas addressing both short- and long-term solutions.”
Increasing the capacity of Wyoming refiners is a concept the Working Group identified as a major goal. “The Working Group heard considerable testimony that refining capacity within the state is a challenge. Oil is one of Wyoming’s largest exports; on the other hand, due to refining capacity, fuel has become one of the largest imports,” explains Senator Ed Cooper, a Working Group member. “As a longer-term solution, seeking ways to expand our refining capacity will help keep the cost of gas lower at the pump for Wyoming.”
“It was an honor to serve on the Governor’s Gas and Diesel Fuel Price working group, which turned over every stone to explore ways to provide price relief to Wyoming residents,” says Representative Clark Stith. “The most promising direct policy recommendation involves incentivizing the use of existing fuel storage capacity to reduce upward pressure on prices. The working group did not recommend a state fuel tax holiday, as the bulk of the benefits would go to producers and out-of-state drivers and deplete the highway fund. I want to thank the Governor’s office policy staff, the director of the Department of Revenue, the director of WYDOT, my fellow working group legislators and the private sector stakeholders whom all contributed.”
“I thank the Working Group for a job well done,” Governor Gordon says. “We have always recognized that national and global factors weigh heavily in determining the price at the pump. However, this report outlines actions Wyoming can take that can make a difference to our residents, in addition to just being able to produce more oil and gas. There are some specific recommendations that the public, and especially the Legislature, should look to for solutions to high gas and diesel prices here in Wyoming.”