Home to 578,759 people spread out over a vast 97,093, Wyoming is the least populated state in the nation with a population density lower than any state except Alaska. Wyoming is covered by Rocky Mountains to the west and High Plains to the east. Because it is in the rain shadow of the Rockies, the state is fairly arid, though it has a lot of glaciers and snowpack. Almost half of Wyoming is owned by the federal government, and the state is home to many national parks and monuments, including Yellowstone, the country’s first national park. Wyoming was the first territory in the nation to grant women the right to vote. It was also the first state to elect a female governor all the way back in 1925

When it comes to climate change, Wyoming is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack and glaciers, reduced water availability, and more frequent and severe wildfires. 

In 2020, Wyoming and the rest of the Northern Great Plains are experiencing an average of 159 days a year with temperatures below freezing. It is projected that, as the planet continues to warm, the number could drop to an average of just 79 days per year by 2100. As the cold recedes, extreme heat will accelerate in the Great Plains region. Days where the maximum temperature exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit are projected to double by mid-century in Wyoming’s region. This is extremely harmful to Wyoming’s residents and agriculture industry. 

The growing heat has additional consequences. Snowpack and glaciers are declining in Wyoming, reducing the reliability of surface water for cities, farmers and ecosystems. By 2030, many of Wyoming’s 1,500 glaciers are likely to retreat or disappear completely if we continue on our current climate path. With more warm days, snow comes later and melts earlier, leaving less time for accumulation. The reduced water availability combined with increasing temperatures threaten crops and animal agriculture in Wyoming, as well as Wyoming’s local ecosystems

Wyoming’s high temperatures and low water availability make more common the factors that contribute to wildfires:wildfires, drought, and dead trees. These are expected to increase harming property, livelihoods and human health

Rising temperatures, persistent drought and aquifer depletion could threaten the long-term sustainability of the Great Plains, with scientists hesitantly predicting a second Dust Bowl. This could have absolutely devastating effects on local agriculture, the industry to which the majority of land in the Great Plains is devoted, producing $92 billion in products each year. Climate change’s blow to agriculture will have a major negative impact on Wyoming’s economy. 

As of now, Wyoming’s only climate action plan dates back in 2013. Without any deadlines for carbon emission reduction or long-term planning, all action items were to be instigated in the year of publication. It calls for no green energy, just the promotion of more natural gas. The plan mentions vague “efficient, effective regulation,” but does not go into specifics. It  does call for some resource conservation, but calling the plan a “climate action plan” is weak at best.

It’s no surprise that Wyoming’s 2013 “climate action plan” does not focus at all on green energy. Fossil fuels are the state’s biggest business. Wyoming has been the top coal-producing state in the nation since 1986, accounting for 39.2% of all coal mined the country as of 2019. Wyoming also ranks among the top 10 states for both the largest natural gas reserves and the highest marketed natural gas production. Wyoming is also the eighth-largest crude oil-producing state in the nation in 2019, accounting for nearly 3% of U.S. total crude oil output. All of this energy output makes Wyoming the biggest net energy supplier in the United States, putting out nearly 15 times more energy than it consumes. Wyoming’s large energy producing sector and small population makes it, after Louisiana,  the state second in per capita energy consumption and the second most energy-intensive state economy.

For its own consumption, Wyoming relies mainly on coal, which produces 86% of Wyoming’s electricity generation. Surprisingly, wind energy produces 9%.  Small hydroelectric facilities and natural gas-fired and petroleum-fueled generating units account for most of the remaining 5% of Wyoming’s state-used generation. Overall, renewable energy accounts for 11% of the electricity in Wyoming.

Wyoming has some of the largest wind resources in the nation. Sustained winds are funneled through the state’s mountain passes and out across the high prairie, which enables Wyoming wind farms to operate at high capacity levels. The amount of wind-powered generating capacity installed in Wyoming has grown rapidly in the last decade, and the state ranked 17th in the nation at the end of 2019 with nearly 1,600 megawatts of generating capacity from just over 1,000 turbines. Several large wind projects are in development or under construction. Energy companies seek customers for Wyoming’s wind power in several western states that have significant renewable energy requirements. Consequently, there are several large transmission projects in Wyoming to transport the state’s wind-generated electricity to Nevada, Arizona, and California.

Coal Mining States and Climate Change


Wyoming governor’s speech erupts into fight over future of fossil fuels, carbon capture

By Kevin Killough 11/27/23
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon sparked a backlash from state lawmakers when he discussed plans to make the Cowboy State carbon dioxide-neutral during a talk at Harvard last month.
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Wind and solar energy are booming in surprising places

By Shannon Osaka 11/15/23
a county named for its coal deposits — a power company is building hundreds of wind turbines. In Mingo County, W.Va., where many small towns were once coal towns, the Adams Fork Energy plant will…
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Critics make case against utility’s historic electric rate hike

By Dustin Bleizeffer 10/26/23
Rocky Mountain Power officials took the stand here Wednesday to defend the company’s proposed $140.2 million rate hike — a 21.6% increase that’s sparked fear and outrage among its 144,000 customers in Wyoming.
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Wyoming passes up federal funds to voluntarily close oil and gas wells

By Dustin Bleizeffer 10/05/23
Gov. Mark Gordon announced this week the state will decline an invitation to apply for millions in federal Inflation Reduction Act funds aimed at shuttering low-producing oil and gas wells.
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Harriet Hageman: Boneheaded “Green” Policies Cause Massive Electricity Rate Increase

I have often said that there is a special place in hell for those who pursue policies that are intended to increase the price of food, energy, and housing. Yet, we currently have people in…
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Wyoming, Colorado to partner on developing carbon capture technologies

By Sharon Udasin 06/28/23
The governors of Wyoming and Colorado signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday for interstate collaboration on the development of carbon capture technologies.
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Wind farm opponents lose Wyoming Supreme Court appeal

By Nicole Pollack 05/25/23
Albany County’s board of commissioners was justified in authorizing a 120-turbine wind farm to proceed during the summer of 2021, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled Monday.
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Think this winter was bad? More extremes are likely for Wyoming due to climate change

By Nicole Pollock 05/19/23
To hear climate scientists tell it, that record snowstorm that walloped central Wyoming earlier this month — well, it was pretty much par for the course.
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Wyoming’s Second Utility-Scale Solar Farm On Pace To Be Online This Year

By Kevin Killough 05/17/23
The 950-acre South Cheyenne Solar Project broke ground this spring as expected, and it’s still on task to finish by the end of the year, despite supply chain and contractor availability issues.
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Federal Delays Cost Wyoming More Than 6,000 Oil And Gas Wells

By Kevin Killough 05/13/23
The federal government held up oil and gas projects involving more than 6,000 wells for so long that operators canceled them. Lengthy permitting times are also impacting renewable energy projects, which is driving bipartisan support…
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As feds push emissions cuts, Wyoming wavers on carbon capture

By Nicole Pollack Casper 05/13/23
Wyoming leaders swear, almost across the board, that carbon capture is destined to be a vital part of electricity generation.
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Wyoming Seeks $1.25 Billion For Hydrogen Hub, Which Critics Say Is Inefficient, Expensive And Stupid

By Kevin Killough 04/30/23
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says hydrogen will be “a cornerstone of our energy future.” Critics say putting a hydrogen hub in a dry, desert region where there's already a shortage of water is a "crazy…
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Wyoming State Profile and Energy Estimates

Wyoming is a major producer of coal, natural gas, and crude oil—the fossil fuels that were created from the remains of life in the ancient seas that covered the state many millions of years ago.…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Wind Energy in Wyoming

Find wind data and information in Wyoming, including maps, capacity, ordinances, and more in these areas.

Wyoming Solar Rebates And Incentives

Wyoming Rebates and Incentives Summary

Wyoming Solar

Data Current Through:Q2 2020


Wyoming does not have a renewable energy portfolio standard and no renewable energy credits to incentivize solar customers. Its net metering program is limited to systems of up to 25 kW, hindering an additional income…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Wyoming

Between 2017 and 2019, Wyoming experienced three severe storms and two wildfires. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Wyoming

Wyoming is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack and glaciers, reduced water availability and wildfires


Wyoming Oil And Gas Insider Says Supreme Court Allowing State Courts To Decide Climate Change Reparations Is Bad News

By Kevin Killough   04/26/23  
Lawsuits alleging oil companies are liable for damages from climate change will stay in state courts following a U.S.Supreme Court decision this week.
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Massive transmission line will send wind power from Wyoming to California

By Gabriela Aoun Angueira   04/17/23  
After a nearly two-decades-long permitting process, a 732-mile transmission line capable of sending power from what will be the largest onshore wind farm in North America to western states got a green light last week.
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PacifiCorp plans to accelerate shift from coal to renewable energy

By Dustin Bleizeffer   04/04/23  
Wyoming coal will play a shrinking role in PacifiCorp’s energy supply portfolio as the utility adds more wind and solar power and either retires or converts its coal-fired power units in the state to natural…
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A wet winter won’t stave off the Colorado River’s water cuts

By Joshua Partlow   04/03/23  
The abundant snow in the Rocky Mountains this year has been a welcome relief, but is not enough to overcome two decades of drought that has pushed major reservoirs along the Colorado River down to…
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2023 Climate Solutions tour sparks excitement in Wyoming

By Bill Barron   03/30/23  
2023 Climate Solutions tour sparks excitement in Wyoming By Bill Barron Last year we hatched plans for the 2023 CCL Wyoming tour with our dear friend and CCL Wyoming co-state coordinator, Barb Deshler, in the…
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Federal tax credits for renewable projects could benefit Wyoming the most

By Caitlin Tan   03/23/23  
If Wyoming follows through with some of its climate friendly energy goals, it stands to make a lot of federal money, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
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Solar slow to take hold in Wyoming amid national boom

By Nicole Pollack   03/19/23  
yoming’s solar industry is growing — slowly. Roughly 30 gigawatts of new solar power are scheduled to come online across the U.S. this year, the Energy Information Administration said. That’s more than half of the…
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Yellowstone forges ahead after flood of challenges

By Mark Davis Powell   03/09/23  
When Cam Sholly first arrived at Yellowstone National Park in 2018 to take over as superintendent, he immediately started discussing his core priorities. They included big ticket issues like improving employee housing and business practices,…
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Massive Energy Storage Projects Planned For Nevada & Wyoming

By Tina Casey   03/09/23  
Energy storage is the new black, and a growing number of US states don’t want to be caught without it. That includes the state of Utah, which is the proud home of the pumped hydro…
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Wyoming senators ask Department of Energy to clarify small refinery exemptions

By Mary Stroka   03/08/23  
Wyoming’s U.S. Senators, Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso, joined eight Senate Republican colleagues in asking Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to explain the department’s process for vetting and approving Wyoming’s small refinery exemptions to…
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Survey Finds Wyomingites Favor Natural Gas As A Future Source Of Energy Most And Carbon Capture Least

By Caitlin Tan   03/03/23  
Two University of Wyoming (UW) researchers wanted to understand how Wyomingites feel about the future of energy, including their perceptions and values. Selena Gerace and Jessica Western initially completed a survey of residents back in…
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As More States Try To Kill Off Fossil Fuels, Wyoming Will Be Impacted

By Kevin Killough   02/22/23  
Nearly two dozen states have some form of target to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation. As more states try to increase the amount of power they get from wind, solar and…
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Effort To Reform How Wyoming Residential Wind And Solar Sell Power Back To Grid Dies

By Kevin Killough   02/17/23  
The House Travel Committee has killed a bill to reform how residential renewable energy producers are paid for surplus energy they sell back to the grid.
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In skeptical Wyoming, Citizens’ Climate Lobby pushes for renewable energy

By CJ Baker   02/16/23  
Talking about climate change in Wyoming — where roughly half of the state government’s revenue comes from fossil fuels — can make for a “tough conversation,” Bill Barron admits.But for the second time in four…
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The “Law of the River” at the heart of the Colorado River crisis

By Hayley Smith and Ian James   02/03/23  
It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how…
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This five-mile-long cloud of methane was spotted over Wyoming

By Aaron Clark   01/31/23  
Three satellites observed a big plume of the potent planet-warming gas over the US state last month, which scientists attributed to a natural gas facility.
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As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

By Christopher Flavelle   01/27/23  
The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
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In California’s Imperial Valley, farmers brace for a future with less Colorado River water

By Ian James   01/27/23  
Just north of the California-Mexico border, the All-American Canal cuts across 80 miles of barren, dune-swept desert. Up to 200 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the canal delivers the single largest share of Colorado…
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The Colorado River is overused and shrinking. Inside the crisis transforming the Southwest

By Ian James and Molly Hennessy-Fiske   01/26/23  
The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado,…
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A river guide’s view of Lake Powell’s decline and the depths of the Colorado River crisis

By Ian James   01/26/23  
Muddy water whizzed past as John Weisheit steered a motorboat upstream in the Colorado River. He revved the engine as the boat sped around a bend and up a riffle.
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Wyoming towns welcome second chance to land nuclear plant

By Nicole Pollack   01/14/23  
For the Wyoming towns not chosen to host a demonstration nuclear reactor, word that they’re back in the running for a new wave of plants came sooner than expected
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Wyoming Plans To Plug 1,500 Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells

By Jonathan P. Thompson   11/16/22  
OIL & GAS: Wyoming officials plan to use $25 million in federal funds to plug and reclaim the state’s remaining 1,500 orphaned oil and gas wells. (Cowboy State Daily)
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Lawmakers flirt with deregulated zones for crypto miners

By Dustin Bleizeffer   10/20/22  
Lawmakers will consider draft legislation to allow large consumers of electricity — such as crypto-currency and blockchain miners, chip manufacturers and data centers — to contract for power outside the regulated utility market.
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Dominion Energy proposes 150-well oil project in Wyoming

By Heather Richards   09/09/22  
The Bureau of Land Management is asking for public input on a large oil and gas drilling project proposed by an eastern utility giant on federal lands in southern Wyoming. Dominion Energy Wexpro — an…
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The Fight Over The Colorado River’s Water Is A Symbol Of The Larger Climate Crisis

By Alejandro De La Garza   08/29/22  
There’s something familiar about the high stakes water use drama playing out in the U.S. Southwest. The mighty Colorado River serves as an economic artery of the region, powering massive hydroelectric dams and supplying water…
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A Painful Deadline Nears as Colorado River Reservoirs Run Critically Low

By Henry Fountain   07/21/22  
States in the Colorado River basin are scrambling to propose steep cuts in the water they’ll use from the river next year, in response to a call by the federal government for immediate, drastic efforts…
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In maps, photos and videos, see the full force of Yellowstone’s floods

By N. Kirkpatrick, Jason Samenow, Dylan Moriarty and Laris Karklis   06/18/22  
Every summer, millions flock to Yellowstone National Park and wait for the reliable eruption of the geyser Old Faithful. This week, visitors were caught in a unpredictable and massive explosion of water that coursed through…
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Floods leave Yellowstone landscape ‘dramatically changed’

By Matthew Brown and Lindsay Whitehurst   06/15/22  
Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week moved through Montana’s largest city on Wednesday, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant.
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U.S. approves major transmission line from Wyoming to Utah

By Nichola Groom   05/27/22  
The Biden administration on Thursday gave final approval to a 416-mile electric transmission line that will help connect more wind and solar energy to the Western U.S. grid.
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Which States Are the Most Environmentally Friendly?

By Sarah Lozanova   05/05/22  
A majority of Americans see the effects of climate change in their own communities and believe the federal government should do more to stop them. Despite growing concern about the climate crisis, some states are…
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Standing on the Continental Divide, where wind energy could reshape the West

By Sammy Roth   05/05/22  
Reporting on clean energy from my kitchen table is one thing. Standing atop the Continental Divide — wind whipping at my face, construction workers grading roads nearby, pronghorn jogging across the sagebrush landscape — is…
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Several States Face Significant Wildfire Danger in Coming Months

By Jan Wisner Childs   05/04/22  
"I feel good about how prepared we are, but I know we’re going to have some tough days, some bad days," Mike Morgan, director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, said during…
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States should not weaken liability laws for CCS projects

By Scott Anderson   05/03/22  
Early this January, a geyser in West Texas started spewing tens of thousands of barrels of salty water a hundred feet into the air and coating the nearby land with salt deposits. It took about…
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Feds to take water from Wyoming to bolster Lake Powell

By Matthew Renda   05/03/22  
The Bureau of Reclamation announced it would hold water in Lake Powell — a major supplier of water to agriculture and municipalities — and add more water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir upstream to stave…
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USDA invests in renewable energy infrastructure for 3 Wyoming small businesses

State Director Glenn Pauley announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing over $38,000 in Wyoming renewable energy infrastructure for three small businesses. Nationwide, the announcement includes 165 projects to expand access to safe…
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Wyoming Cuts 11,300 Pronghorn and Mule Deer Tags Due to Drought

By Paul Richards   04/29/22  
Currently, six percent of Wyoming is “abnormally dry,” according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map, released on Thursday. The rest is experiencing drought, 59 percent of which is considered “severe” or “extreme.” The news…
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EPA plan would force Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and California to cut harmful air emissions drifting into Colorado

By Noelle Phillips   04/24/22  
The Environmental Protection Agency for the first time is proposing a measure that would force four Western states to reduce their harmful emissions because of the impact they’re having on air quality in neighboring states…
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Wyoming’s wind energy production moves ahead

By Tracee Davis   04/21/22  
Electricity generation projects in Wyoming harnessing the power of wind are moving forward, and the industry is a fairly major player in energy production. Just like fossil fuels are abundant here, so, too, is wind…
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Biden’s ‘cost of carbon’ policy survives court challenge

By Kevin McGill   04/14/22  
In a victory for President Joe Biden, a federal appeals court Thursday refused to revisit its March decision reviving administration plans to account for potential damage from greenhouse gas emissions when creating rules for pollution-generating…
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The Clean-Power Megaproject Held Hostage by a Ranch and a Bird

By Josh Saul and Others   04/12/22  
There’s a big piece of land in lonely northwest Colorado where the grassy plains meet the mountains, wide-antlered elk drink from icy rivers and sage-grouse pump their chests in wild mating dances each spring. Ranch…
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A wind energy company has pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles

By Associated Press   04/06/22  
A wind energy company was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms…
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These Towns Are Fighting Climate Change at the Local Level

By Heather Hansman   02/16/22  
If I read too much national news these days, especially about how little our federal government is doing to pass climate legislation, it’s hard to stop myself from feeling nihilistic about our ecological outlook. We’re…
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EPA nears deal with Wyo. over massive coal plant

By Benjamin Storrow   02/07/22  
After months of trading barbs, EPA and Wyoming officials say they’ve had a breakthrough in talks over the future of one of America’s largest coal plants. The reversal comes after a meeting between EPA Administrator…
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Wyoming Defies U.S. Supreme Court Over Crow Tribal Hunting Rights

By Eric Galatas   12/30/21  
Wyoming will appeal a recent district court decision affirming Crow tribal hunting rights granted under treaties signed in the 19th century, rights recently affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan Lewerenz, staff attorney for the…
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Cloud seeding gains steam as West faces worsening droughts

By Maddie Stone   11/21/21  
As the first winter storms rolled through this month, a King Air C90 turboprop aircraft contracted by the hydropower company Idaho Power took to the skies over southern Idaho to make it snow.
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Report: Climate Change at Yellowstone Threatens People, Wildlife

By Matt Alderton   07/06/21  
“Beautiful.” “Gorgeous.” “Breathtaking.” “Magnificent.” These are just a few of the words that tourists often use to describe the splendor that is the Greater Yellowstone Area, comprising approximately 22 million acres of wilderness in northwestern…
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Justices deny Wyoming, Montana coal suit against Washington

By Mead Gruver   06/29/21  
The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday that it won’t allow Wyoming and Montana to sue Washington state for denying a key permit to build a coal export dock that would have sent coal to Asia.…
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Bill Gates’ next generation nuclear reactor to be built in Wyoming

By Timothy Gardner and Valerie Volcovici   06/03/21  
Billionaire Bill Gates' advanced nuclear reactor company TerraPower LLC and PacifiCorp (PPWLO.PK) have selected Wyoming to launch the first Natrium reactor project on the site of a retiring coal plant, the state's governor said on…
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Wyoming Passes Measure to Sue States that Refuse to Buy Coal

By Amy Lupica   05/09/21  
While environmentalists celebrate commitments and progress made by the Biden administration, some stakeholders aren’t so happy. Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon (R) has passed a new state law providing the state government with $1.2 million in funding to sue…
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A Wind Farm in Coal Country

Wyoming has powered the nation with coal for generations. Many in the state consider the industry part of their identity. Wyoming is also strongly Republican, and President Donald Trump’s promise to protect and revive coal…
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