CASPER - More than 150 people came to Wyoming Business Report's Central Wyoming Economic Forecast Lunch in Casper yesterday to enjoy expert speakers covering economic aspects including fiscal policy, energy consumption, energy conversion and health care.
Economist Anne Alexander kicked off the presentations with an examination of the impending fiscal cliff, which she said only someone living in a bunker somewhere could have missed hearing about.
"The gun they loaded and put at their own head - yes, at their own head - was that there would be sequestration of some sort pending and some tax changes." she said.
Rita Meyer, VP of Rocky Mountain Power followed Alexander's remarks with comments on changes to energy demand in the future, saying 16.9 gigawatts of coal generation will be retired by 2014 and will largely be replaced by variable sources of power like wind generation. But Wyoming, she said, is unlikely to shift far from using coal as its primary energy resource.
After Meyer, Don Collins, CEO of the Western Research Institute took the stand to discuss various technologies his group is pursuing to change carbon dioxide from a liability to an asset. The institute was also influential in drawing in Microsoft to place its DataPlant, the first zero-emissions data center in the world, in Cheyenne.
"This will be putting Wyoming at the forefront," Collins said.
Steve Perry, CEO of the Wyoming Integrated Care Network, filled out the presentations with an examination of the current and future state of health care as corresponding with Obama's re-election and the Affordable Care Act. He examined the needs that drove the law and how they affect Wyomingites and businesses.
For full recaps on these speakers' presentations, see the January issue of Wyoming Business Report. Their PowerPoint presentations will soon be added to the website.
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