Falling energy prices cost Wyoming hundreds of millions in lost revenues

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CHEYENNE, Wyoming — Falling energy prices are hitting Wyoming in the checkbook.

A state financial expert briefed lawmakers in Cheyenne on Friday, revising revenue projections downward in response to falling energy prices.

Don Richards is co-chairman of the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group.

Richards tells lawmakers the group has lowered projections of general fund revenue for the current two-year funding cycle by $217 million since its last report in October. The state's biennial general fund budget is about $3.5 billion.

Richards says Wyoming's general fund revenues could drop by over $332 million below projections in the following two-year funding cycle, starting in mid-2016.

Oil prices have fallen from nearly $90 a barrel in October to under $40 a barrel currently. Every $5-per-barrel decline in oil prices costs Wyoming about $35 million a year.

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