AMENDED NET METERING BILL ADVANCES
Thank you, members, for your phenomenal engagement with the Senate Corporations Committee to protect our rooftop solar industry and oppose SF 16 — the latest attempt to remove or weaken Wyoming’s net metering law.
The chair of the committee noted that they received “about 1,000” emails regarding this bill. As usual, only utility companies supported this legislation. The rest of those testifying at Tuesday’s meeting, including representatives from local governments, solar installers, and the general public, spoke out against SF 16 and highlighted the many benefits of this small-scale renewable industry for our state.
The committee voted to delete the most egregious part of this bill, and changed timelines to be more reasonable, but then voted to move the bill forward to the legislature’s virtual session next week. We still have grave concerns about the bill, because it requires a study by the Wyoming Public Service Commission that is biased against net metering, and does not consider the benefits of small-scale solar. We will keep you informed of what can be done next. Thank you again for the tremendous support — you were heard!
VIRTUAL LEGISLATURE GETS UNDERWAY
Last week marked the beginning of the very unusual 2021 Wyoming state legislative session. You might have noticed that, unlike most years, you didn’t get a weekly recap email. That’s because this year, to cope with the many logistical obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic poses to running a normal session, the state legislature is breaking the legislative calendar up into several parts. Between January and the end of March, you can expect to hear from us on bills that are moving — and where we need your help. You can find our guide to the legislature and more resources here.
This week, House and Senate committees are meeting remotely over Zoom to consider bills that were worked on by joint committees over the interim and assigned to one chamber or the other. Bills that pass committee will move on to the full chamber during an 8-day virtual session between January 27 and February 5.
However, the work won’t be over. After the virtual session is wrapped, the legislature will reconvene, either virtually or in person, for the month of March. Any bills that are still alive at the end of the 8-day virtual session, but haven’t yet been passed by both chambers, will return at that time. We expect to see lots of new bills considered, too.
If this sounds confusing, we understand! The legislative session is always chaotic and tumultuous, and we are expecting this year to be even more so as we navigate the many ups, downs, and “what ifs” of trying to communicate with a legislature that is meeting both in person and remotely. Throughout this disjointed session we will keep you informed about what you can expect and where your voices are most critical for protecting the Wyoming conservation values we cherish most.