Wyoming Electric Bills to See Increase Due to Carbon Capture Mandate
On Thursday, the Wyoming Public Commission approved a .3% surcharge for Rocky Mountain Power customers in the Cowboy State that will begin in February.
The increase is estimated to generate $2 million dollars this year, according to the commission, to help cover the cost of "carbon capture compliance" despite the state's warnings that this would be cost prohibitive.
The new surcharge stems from House Bill 200 – Reliable and dispatchable low-carbon energy standards. The law passed in 2020 — the only one of its kind in the nation — is intended to delay the early retirement of coal-fired power plants by mandating they be retrofitted with CCUS technology. CCUS has yet to prove economically viable at commercial scale in the U.S. despite multiple attempts and hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers and ratepayers.
"If a utility proves that applying a CCUS retrofit at an individual coal-burning unit is cost-prohibitive, the commission may grant an exemption to the HB 200 mandate. None of the costs to analyze or implement CCUS at Wyoming coal plants can be passed on to the utilities’ ratepayers outside the state, according to the commission" (Wyofile).