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Wyoming

Land ownership

Natural resource extraction varies widely from state to state. In Wyoming, extractive industries accounted for 22.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, and jobs in the extractive industries made up 8.4% of statewide employment.

Natural resource ownership in the U.S. is closely tied to land ownership. Land can be owned by citizens, corporations, Indian tribes or individuals, or governments (for instance, federal, state, or local governments). Many USEITI datasets only cover natural resource extraction on federal land, which represents 48.1% of all land in Wyoming.

The state of Wyoming chose to participate in an extended USEITI reporting process, so this page includes additional state revenue and disbursements data, as well as contextual information about state governance of natural resources.

For a detailed view of how coal mining affects communities in Wyoming, read more about Campbell County.

Production

Energy production: The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes a profile of energy production and usage in Wyoming.

Most of Wyoming’s natural resource extraction takes place on federal land, including a majority of coal production and two thirds of natural gas production. Much of this federal land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Northeastern Wyoming holds the Powder River Basin, which contains eight of the ten largest coal mines in the country. Wyoming’s natural gas production is centered in the Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming. Crude oil production takes place in the Niobrara Shale (in southeastern Wyoming), the Powder River Basin, and the Green River oil shale.

Wyoming produces about 70% of the uranium mined in the U.S. To learn more about uranium mining nationwide, see the EIA’s annual domestic uranium production report.

In 2014, Wyoming produced 2.4% of U.S. wind energy. Particularly in the southeast part of the state, there’s significant potential for increased wind energy production and several large-scale wind energy projects are in development.

Nonenergy minerals: In 2011, Wyoming’s nonenergy mineral production was valued at over $2.14 billion. Notably, Wyoming produces more trona (the chief source of soda ash) than any other state, and the largest deposit of trona in the world sits under Sweetwater County in Wyoming. For details about what other minerals are extracted, see the USGS Minerals Yearbook for Wyoming.

The Energy Information Administration collects data about all energy-related natural resources produced on federal, state, and privately owned land.
Data and documentation

Coal

0 short tons of coal were produced in Wyoming in 2015.

Hydroelectric

860,974 megawatt hours of hydroelectric energy were produced in Wyoming in 2015.

Crude oil

86,499,000 barrels of crude oil were produced in Wyoming in 2015.

Natural gas

1,908,739,000 mcf of natural gas were produced in Wyoming in 2015.

Wind

3,767,681 megawatt hours of wind energy were produced in Wyoming in 2015.

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue collects detailed data about natural resource production on federal land in Wyoming.
Data and documentation

Coal

313,790,093 tons of coal were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Lincoln County Sweetwater County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Lincoln County Sweetwater County
County production of coal in 2015 (tons)

Gas

1,551,815,444 mcf of gas were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County
County production of gas in 2015 (mcf)

Oil

48,018,542 barrels of oil were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County
County production of oil in 2015 (bbl)

Purge Liquor

95,877 tons - equivalent of purge liquor were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Sweetwater County Sweetwater County
County production of purge liquor in 2015 (tons - equivalent)

Soda Ash

4,863,569 tons of soda ash were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Sweetwater County Sweetwater County
County production of soda ash in 2015 (tons)

Sodium Bi-Carbonate

70,079 tons of sodium bi-carbonate were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

County production

Sweetwater County Sweetwater County
County production of sodium bi-carbonate in 2015 (tons)

Data withheld

Production volume in Wyoming was withheld for the following product(s):

  • Salt (’06–’15)
  • Sodium Sesquicarbonate (’13)
  • Trona Ore (’09)

The state government of Wyoming administers 3.4 million surface acres of land (about 5.5% of the state) and 3.9 million mineral acres. For detailed information about land ownership in each county, see the Wyoming Statewide Parcel Viewer.

In FY 2014, 29.3 million short tons of surface-mined coal and 2.4 million short tons of underground-mined coal were extracted on state lands in Wyoming.

For details about natural resource extraction on state-owned land, see annual reports produced by the Office of State Lands and Investments.

Revenue

Companies pay a wide range of fees, rates, and taxes to extract natural resources in the United States. What companies pay to federal, state, and local governments often depends on who owns the natural resources.

Natural resource extraction can lead to federal revenue in two ways: non-tax revenue and tax revenue. Most USEITI data is about non-tax revenue from extractive industry activities on federal land.
Data and documentation

Revenue from production on federal land by resource

When companies extract natural resources on federal lands and waters, they pay royalties, rents, bonuses, and other fees, much like they would to any landowner. This non-tax revenue is collected and reported by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

For details about the laws and policies that govern how rights are awarded to companies and what they pay to extract natural resources on federal land: coal, oil and gas, renewable resources, and hardrock minerals.

The federal government collects different kinds of fees at each phase of natural resource extraction. This chart shows how much federal revenue was collected in 2015 for production or potential production of natural resources on federal land in Wyoming, broken down by phase of production.

Commodity 1. Securing rights 2. Before production 3. During production Other revenue
Oil and Gas
Oil & Gas
$610,849,993
$14,346,795 $9,118,990 Oil
$232,006,194
Gas
$333,459,445
NGL
$42,806,449
$-20,887,881
Coal
Coal
$990,842,539
$448,080,676 $601,565 $536,754,650 $5,405,649
Other products
Sodium
$34,480,367
$0 $-39,583 $34,420,375 $99,575
Sulfur
$-257,513
$0 $0 $-257,513 $0
Carbon dioxide
$246,841
$0 $0 $246,841 $0
All commodities
All commodities
$1,636,162,228
$462,427,471 $9,680,972 $1,179,436,442 $-15,382,656

Most non-tax revenue collected by ONRR comes from counties with significant natural resources on federal land.
Data and documentation

All commodities

Companies paid $1,636,162,228 to produce natural resources on federal land in Wyoming in 2015.

Revenue collected by County

Albany Big Horn Campbell Carbon Converse Crook Fremont Goshen Hot Springs Johnson Laramie Lincoln Natrona Niobrara Park Platte Sheridan Sublette Sweetwater Teton Uinta Washakie Weston Albany Big Horn Campbell Carbon Converse Crook Fremont Goshen Hot Springs Johnson Laramie Lincoln Natrona Niobrara Park Platte Sheridan Sublette Sweetwater Teton Uinta Washakie Weston
County revenue in 2015

Federal tax revenue

Individuals and corporations (specifically C-corporations) pay income taxes to the IRS. Depending on company income, federal corporate income tax rates can range from 15–35%. Public policy provisions, such as tax expenditures, can decrease corporate income tax and other revenue payments in order to romote other policy goals.

Learn more about revenue from extraction on all lands and waters.

Revenue from natural resource extraction on federal, state, and private land is a primary source of income for the state of Wyoming.

In production year 2014, all 23 of Wyoming’s counties had taxable mineral production, though over 60% percent of revenue from mineral production came from Campbell, Sublette, and Sweetwater counties. In general, the state of Wyoming collects revenue from extraction in the form of severance taxes and counties collect revenue from extraction through ad valorem taxes.

Download: Wyoming revenue streams (PDF)

In 2015, the state of Wyoming collected $2,973,921,214 in state revenue from natural resource extraction (this includes both tax and non-tax revenue). Counties also collect and distribute their own revenue from natural resource extraction.

State revenue stream Amount collected
Total $2,973,921,214
$996,807,296
Ad valorem taxes are collected and distributed by counties.
$786,564,004
This figure is reported by Production Year, rather than Fiscal Year.
Federal Mineral Royalties $689,273,387
Federal Coal Lease Bonuses $224,709,844
State Royalties (In-Scope Commodities) $222,220,146
AML Fees $49,916,169
Wind Generation Tax $4,430,368

Revenue sustainability

Bar graph comparing Wyoming natural resources revenue to total Wyoming General Fund revenue from 2004-2014. Total revenue rose from just under $800 billion in 2005 to over $1,200 billion in 2008, then fell to about $1,000 billion in 2009 and 2010 before rising to about $1,300 billion by 2014. Natural resources revenues followed a similar pattern, and accounted for more than a third and less than half of general fund revenues each year.

In 2014, natural resource revenue streams contributed almost half of the state’s total general fund revenues. Over the last decade, Wyoming’s general fund revenues from extractive industries have doubled from $315 million to $640 million, and the percentage of total general fund revenues from extraction has increased 8%, fluctuating between a low of 33% (in 2009) and a high of 46% (in 2014). Severance tax revenues hold particular importance for Wyoming, and account for up to a quarter of general fund revenues.

To read more about the impact of revenue from extractive industries on Wyoming’s general fund, including future projections, see reports produced by Wyoming’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group.

Tax expenditures

Tax expenditure programs are policy instruments that reduce state and local revenue through changes to the tax code (for example, tax credits, exemptions, preferential tax rates, or deferrals of tax liability).

Wyoming does not report information on total tax expenditures, and does not have tax expenditures associated with oil and gas.

Disbursements

After collecting revenue from natural resource extraction, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue distributes that money to different agencies, funds, and local governments for public use. This process is called “disbursement.”

Most federal revenue disbursements go into national funds. For detailed data about which expenditures and projects from those national funds are in Wyoming, see nationwide federal disbursements.

ONRR also disburses some revenue from natural resource extraction to state governments. In 2015, ONRR disbursed $885,980,925 to Wyoming.

Data and documentation

State agencies distribute natural resource revenues according to the Wyoming State Code, which is defined by the legislature.

Prior to FY 2002, individual severance taxes had distinct distribution formulas. In the 2000 and 2001 legislative sessions, the Wyoming Legislature revised statutes — a process they called “de-earmarking” — to simplify the distribution process. The Department of Revenue now collects severance tax revenues, aggregates them, and distributes that total amount according to statute.

At the local level, county tax collectors collect all property taxes on production and distribute them within their own jurisdictions.

State fund Distribution
Total $2,973,921,214
Cities/Towns/Counties $1,038,379,517
Legislative Royalty Impact Assistance Account / Budget Reserve $534,613,030
Permanent Mineral Trust Fund $308,438,273
School Foundation $251,827,747
School District Capital Construction $228,955,844
General Fund $215,654,798
Permanent Land Funds (largely benefitting Common School) $196,753,056
WY Highway Fund $68,729,000
Abandoned Mine Land Funds Reserve Account $49,916,169
WY Water Development Account I $19,297,500
Capital Construction Account $16,661,500
Permanent Land Income Funds (largely benefitting Common School) $15,668,838
University of Wyoming $13,365,000
State Aid County Roads $4,495,000
Highway Fund County Roads $4,455,000
WY Water Development Account 2 $3,255,000
Community Colleges $1,600,000
DEQ Leaking Underground Storage Tanks $1,080,943
WY Water Development Account 3 $775,000

Saving and spending revenue from extraction

Many states choose to establish permanent mineral trust funds, which can help governments dependent on revenue from natural resources smooth revenue and investments across boom and bust cycles.

The state of Wyoming saves about 68% of severance tax revenue and 39% of federal mineral royalty revenues. These two revenue streams are Wyoming’s two largest sources of revenue from natural resource extraction. Wyoming saves revenue by contributing to the Budget Reserve Account and the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund. Interest from the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund goes to the General Fund.

Economic impact

The extractive industries play an important role in Wyoming’s economy — particularly in Campbell County’s Powder River Basin and in Sublette County. For more information about employment in Wyoming, the Department of Workforce Services has published long-term industry and occupational projections for 2014 to 2024.

Because of relatively high annual wages (compared to other industries), extractive industries contribute a greater percentage of personal income than jobs. In 2014, annual wages from extractive industries made up about 18% (or $2.4 billion) of total annual wages in the state. The average annual wage for extractive-industry jobs in Wyoming in 2014 was $88,198, or almost twice the statewide average wage of $46,492.

In addition to generating economic activity, extractive industries can have fiscal costs for state and local communities.

Data about each state’s gross domestic product comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Data and documentation

GDP (dollars)

In 2015, extractive industries accounted for 22.2% of Wyoming’s GDP, or $8,860,000,000

Wage and salary data, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, describes the number of people employed in natural resource extraction that receive wages or salaries from companies.
Data and documentation

Wage and salary jobs

In 2015, there were jobs in the extractive industries in Wyoming, and they accounted for 8.4% of statewide employment.

County wage and salary jobs

Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Platte County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Teton County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County Albany County Big Horn County Campbell County Carbon County Converse County Crook County Fremont County Hot Springs County Johnson County Laramie County Lincoln County Natrona County Niobrara County Park County Platte County Sheridan County Sublette County Sweetwater County Teton County Uinta County Washakie County Weston County
County employment in extractive industries (jobs, 2015)

Self-employment data, from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, describes people who work in natural resource extraction, but don’t receive wages or salaries because they own their own companies.
Data and documentation

Self-employment

In 2014, there were self-employed people working in the extractive industries in Wyoming.

The U.S. Census Bureau collects information about the top 25 exports in each state. In 2015, one or more natural resources ranked among the top 25 exports from Wyoming.
Data and documentation

Other nonenergy minerals

$951,830,000 worth of other nonenergy minerals was exported from Wyoming in 2015.

Oil

$24,190,000 worth of oil was exported from Wyoming in 2015.

State governance

The state of Wyoming participated in additional reporting. As part of the USEITI process, the Independent Administrator gathered information about state and local natural resource governance, revenues, and disbursements in Wyoming.

State agencies

The state of Wyoming regulates extraction and interacts with extractive industry companies in Montana, particularly when they’re operating on state or private land.

The Wyoming Department of Revenue assesses, collects, manages, and distributes revenue from companies engaged in extraction of oil, natural gas, coal, and other natural resources in Wyoming. At the local level, gounty governments directly collect ad valorem taxes related to extraction. The Department of Revenue publishes:

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ensures that oil and gas wells and operations comply with state environmental laws, as well as regulating mining activities on state land. It publishes rules and regulations, and its activities include:

  • Permitting all oil and gas wells
  • Maintaining well records
  • Performing field inspections
  • Performing orphan well plugging
  • Holding reclamation bonds on mine operations

The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments leases, controls, and collects royalties from mineral extraction on state trust land. Publications include:

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) leads activities to conserve the environment and support responsible stewardship of Wyoming’s resources. DEQ’s permitting process covers all activities associated with mining, from exploration to reclamation commitments.

  • The Air Quality Division issues air quality permits, particularly in the Upper Green River Basin.
  • The Water Quality Division works to ensure the proper disposal of wastewater, and monitors water quality. It also permits underground injections of wastewater, reclaims discharge impoundments related to coal bed methane production, and works with the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Land Quality Division to regulate underground wastewater injection through the Underground Injection Control Program. The Water Quality Division also maintains its own list of rules and regulations.
  • The Solid and Hazardous Waste Division inspects hazardous waste storage and disposal.
  • The Land Quality Division regulates surface mining operations and surface operations for underground mines, works to ensure reclamation following mining, establishes reclamation bond amounts, and holds reclamation bonds on mine operations. It publishes an annual report (PDF) that includes bond amounts.
  • The Abandoned Mine Land Division administers the federal AML program for coal and select hardrock reclamation projects.

The Wyoming State Geological Survey also provides geological information about natural resources.

State laws and regulations

Wyoming’s constitution includes an article governing mining.

The Wyoming Statutes Annotated have several sections that govern natural resource extraction, including:

  • Title 30: Mines and Minerals
  • Title 39: Taxation (including ad valorem taxes and the Mine Product Tax)
  • Title 36: State Lands (including mineral leasing)
  • Title 35, Chapter 11 (from the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act): Air, water, and land quality, as well as abandoned mine land reclamation and orphan site remediation (see articles 2-4, 12, and 17)

Wyoming rules and regulations are maintained by the Office of the Secretary of State, which publishes a rules search tool for finding rules by department or topic.

Fiscal costs of extractive activity

In addition to generating revenue and economic activity, extractive industries can bring costs to state and local communities.

In Wyoming, analysis of those costs has centered on Campbell County (coal production) and Sublette County (oil & gas production):

  • The USEITI case study on Campbell County provides a holistic look at the impact of extractive industries in the northeastern part of the state.
  • Most information about socioeconomic impacts in Sublette County and its municipalities comes from the 2009 Sublette County Socioeconomic Impact Study (PDF). This report, which was commissioned by Sublette County Commissioners, focuses on whether revenues returned to and retained by Sublette County are sufficient, rather than whether enough state or local taxes are paid by the companies participating in extraction.

The USEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group prioritized four types of fiscal costs:

Transportation

In the 2010 Campbell County Coal Belt Transportation Study (PDF), Campbell County and the Wyoming Department of Transportation estimated that county roads would require $43.9 million in investment between 2010 and 2015 to support coal extraction.

Traffic increased 86% in Sublette County and its municipalities from 2000 to 2007, largely due to natural resource extraction. In 2009, they estimated that projected road improvement projects would total $87.5 million from 2009 to 2012 and beyond. The self-contained nature of large coal mining operations in Sublette County contributes to higher transportation costs compared to Campbell County.

Water

In Sublette County, natural resource extraction has led to population growth, which has increased demands on existing water systems. The town of Marbleton also drilled an additional water well to provide domestic and commercial water due to increased demand.

See state agencies for information about statewide water management.

Emergency services

Population growth due to increased natural resource extraction can increase demands on the medical, fire, and police services of states, counties, and towns.

Prior to 2001, the Sublette County Rural Health Care District had two all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units. By 2006, the district had hired 25 full-time emergency medical technicians. From 2001 to 2007, EMS runs increased 116% for the Pinedale facility and 94.47% for the Marbleton-Big Piney facility. To serve the Jonah gas field and the South Anticline, the district built a new EMS facility in 2007 at Sand Draw. Local industry paid for $900,000 of the cost of the facility, with the county paying $500,000.

Reclamation

Wyoming has been “certified” by the federal Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation program, meaning it has reclaimed its identified high-priority abandoned coal mine areas. It also means AML funds, which are sourced from fees paid by coal mine operators, can be used for a wider range of purposes beyond reclamation, including abandoned hardrock mine sites. The program currently estimates that Wyoming has $52 million in unreclaimed coal AML sites and $686,000 in unreclaimed non-coal AML sites (such as uranium mining sites). To learn more about recently completed projects and projects underway, search for Wyoming Annual Evaluation Reports in the OSMRE Oversight Document Database.

See state agencies for additional statewide reclamation activities.