Wyoming Governor Details Proposed Use of AML Funds for Research over Next Biennium

December 09, 2009

Outlining his budget recommendations for the 2011-12 biennium last week, Gov. Dave Freudenthal asked lawmakers to continue support for research projects funded by the state’s share of federal Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funds. Using $116.1 million available for appropriation in the coming year, the governor recommends $45 million for continuation of carbon sequestration research, $17.4 million to continue operating the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, and $14 million for the Clean Coal Technology matching grant program.

Gov. Freudenthal also recommends a reserve account in the auditor’s office of $17.5 million in general fund monies to allow continuing operation of the UW School of Energy Resources if AML funding is lost, budget documents note. Other recommendations in the UW budget include:

  • $985,000 for a mass spectrometer to be used for advanced energy research and related studies at the university; and,
  • $660,000 to continue work at the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center.

 

For the Wyoming Business Council, Gov. Freudenthal recommends $101 million over the next two years, down from $123.6 million last biennium. This includes $27 million for the Wyoming Business Council Division, down $705,563 from last biennium.

Last week, the Wyoming Business Council announced approval of a $20 million contract with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research to help build the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center. The center will house one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate, severe weather, air quality, and other atmospheric and geosciences topics such as carbon dioxide sequestration, according to a press release. The legislature appropriated $20 million to provide partial funding for construction of the facility in 2007.

The governor’s 2011-2012 budget recommendations are available at: http://ai.state.wy.us/budget/pdf/11-12BudgetRequest/2011-12StateBudget.pdf.

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