CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon delivered his “state of the state” message to the Wyoming Legislature on Monday, February 14 as the legislature convened its 2022 budget session, outlining aspects of his proposals for the new biennial state budget.
On energy, Gordon criticized President Joe Biden’s administration.
“The shutdown of federal oil, gas and coal exploration and production means our state bears a disproportionate burden of reduced royalties, reduced severance taxes and reduced economic benefits,” Gordon said. “And why?”
“These actions will not reduce global warming or benefit consumers. Instead, they caused inflation to spike. In fact, in 2021, as the Biden administration limited oil production in Wyoming, it increased Russian oil imports and called for more OPEC production.
The Biden administration in August 2021 called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil production to help increase global supply after OPEC implemented production cuts during the pandemic. of COVID-19, according to Reuters. This came after federal oil and gas lease sales originally scheduled to take place in spring and summer 2021 in Wyoming and elsewhere were postponed due to an executive order from Biden that put in place a pause. in sales.
As a federal judge blocked the Biden administration’s pause and federal oil and gas lease sales are set to resume in Wyoming and elsewhere, Gordon criticized the Biden administration for dragging its feet in resuming those sales of oil and gas leases. During his “state of the state” address, the governor criticized the Biden administration for asking OPEC to increase production while simultaneously slowing production in the United States.
“Mr. Biden, tear up your energy policy,” Gordon said, with his words reminiscent of the cadence and phrasing of former President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech delivered in 1987.
Gordon called for an energy policy that leaves room for fossil fuels and new energy sources, arguing that Wyoming is well positioned to help execute a comprehensive energy strategy.
“Let Wyoming power our country,” the governor said. “Give us the tools and the chance to make the nation energy independent again. Wyoming has it all: the best wind, solar, gas, coal, nuclear, and the ability to store over 50 years of our nation’s carbon emissions.
“Innovation, not regulation, is our way forward to give our nation the energy it needs and simultaneously solve global climate problems. We don’t need to choose between fossil fuels or new types of energy.
Gordon said Wyoming’s energy sector has a variety of new opportunities on the horizon, including advanced nuclear, carbon utilization and sequestration, bioenergy, hydrogen, and “better and cleaner way to burn and use our coal and other fossil fuels”.
He said the state leads in terms of research that can keep legacy industries viable and can also help advance new industries.
“We must seize these opportunities and we will do so by fighting against ridiculous regulation, promoting sensible development and seizing new opportunities,” Gordon said.
He added that his budget proposal calls for the ability to use up to $100 million to match federal and private investments in large-scale energy projects.
“It will help us grow and innovate our mineral and energy economies and it’s critical for our future,” Gordon said.
Establishing a new budget is one of the main tasks of the legislature in the 2022 budget session. The budget bill currently being considered by the legislature is available here.
The governor’s full “state of the state” remarks can be heard in the Wyoming PBS speech stream via YouTube: