Wyoming is singled out in a new report on oil, gas and coal development and how those projects affect state economics.
Of five Rocky Mountain energy-producing states, Wyoming sees the highest percentage of monetary benefit because of the level of production and state severance taxes.
Report author Julia Haggerty with Headwaters Economics says she also discovered that jobs are more closely connected to market prices, than state policies such as severance taxes.
Haggerty shares another insight to demonstrate how important it is for the state to diversify its economy. Wyoming saw the largest percentage decline in personal income during the recession among the five states studied.
The “cost” to the environment and quality of life are additional economic factors that Haggerty says need more consideration.
Haggerty says Wyoming could do a better job in the way the state shares tax revenue with counties and towns.
Only about five percent is returned to the areas developed, yet those municipalities have to bear much of the cost for infrastructure related to the development.
Colorado shares half the revenue with energy-producing communities. Montana, New Mexico and Utah were also analyzed for the report.