The recent drop in oil and gas extraction could have a disastrous impact on the Wyoming state budget which relies heavily on fossil fuel extraction for revenue, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Despite the public’s calls to diversify its economy, Wyoming has become even more dependent on oil and gas to fund its government in recent years. The state’s rig count dropped to zero earlier this summer, the first time it has done so since before Wyoming became a state in 1890. Cratered oil and gas demand, however, driven by OPEC+ machinations and the coronavirus pandemic, threatens to leave the state with a $1.5 billion budget shortfall over the next two years — an amount roughly equivalent to one-third of the state’s budget, or about all of the spending for the state’s education system. In the near term, lawmakers have called on the state oil and gas commission to speed up efforts to cap orphaned well sites, which can leak heat-trapping methane and myriad other pollutants, in order to generate job opportunities for unemployed oil and gas workers. (Casper Star-Tribune)