The state of Wyoming may implement a prohibition on competition in the energy market, and this time it’s Republicans leading the charge.

A new piece of legislation in the Wyoming state legislature would limit the percentage of renewable energy output into the state’s energy market.

The state, which is a top coal producing state, is also a potentially huge producer of renewable energy.

Last year, Republican Governor Matt Mead expressed his support for the coal industry in Wyoming when he said the state would “double down” on delivering the fossil fuel to the marketplace.

When Mead expressed such support for coal in early 2016, he also paid lip service to the state’s growing renewable energy market which includes resources such as wind and solar energy.

Apparently, some Wyoming state legislators don’t want the Cowboy State to have both affordable coal and clean energy production.

The new bill would limit the percentage of clean energy produced by utilities for the state’s energy grid to a mere five percent.

This policy, effectively a prohibition on energy sources competitive with coal, does not reflect a truly free energy marketplace due to its “eligible resources” definition. The list of “eligible resources” does not include wind or solar, two energy sources that may be highly competitive in the state of Wyoming.

It’s clear that preservation of the state’s coal industry is taking priority.

When Governor Mead took a bold stance in favor of coal last year amidst the Republican Presidential Primary, he was backed up by a national party that focused talking points supporting the reboot the coal industry post-Obama.

The newly proposed anti-renewable energy legislation may be a legislative tool as part of the effort to ensure a more prosperous Wyoming coal industry in the near future.

The state of Wyoming is one of the nation’s largest energy producers, and the state has the potential to grow their energy market even more. From being a top-producer in coal and natural gas to facilitating the production of one of the nation’s largest wind farms, Wyoming’s energy market has an upward trajectory.

However, the support for clean energy prohibition within the state legislature has a potentially negative effect on the state’s economy.

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